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Jack Sisson's TBI Blog
A hug is duct tape for the soul.
Sunday, February 27, 2011
Why are there veterans on the streets?
From The News Star:
Far too many veterans are homeless in America — between 130,000 and 200,000 on any given night. The represent one-fourth to one-fifth of all homeless people.
Three times that many veterans are struggling with excessive rent burdens and thus at increased risk of homelessness.
Further, there is concern about the future. Female veterans and those with disabilities, including post-traumatic stress disorder and traumatic brain injury, are more likely to become homeless, and a higher percentage of veterans returning from the current wars in Afghanistan and Iraq have these characteristics.
Conservatively, one out of every three homeless men who is sleeping in a doorway, alley or box in our cities and rural communities has put on a uniform and served this country. Still, I cannot put my finger on a person or department who can answer — why?
Approximately 40 percent of homeless men are veterans, although veterans comprise only 34 percent of the general adult male population.
The VA says the nation's homeless veterans are mostly males (4 percent are females). The vast majority is single, most come from poor, disadvantaged communities, 45 percent suffer from mental illness, and half have substance abuse problems. America's homeless veterans have served every war since World War II plus anti-drug operations in South America. Forty-seven percent of homeless veterans served during the Vietnam Era.
After their contract was completed with the military, why were they released from the military in such a sad state of health? With all of the programs provided by the VA, thousands of homeless veterans are falling through the cracks.
We can only assume that when the job is completed and the military cannot retain those soldiers, they are released with minimum assistance with the attitude of "out of sight, out of mind."
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