Homeless Veterans

Homeless veterans are all throughout the United States.

Many U.S. military veterans are homeless. Right now, veterans make up 33% of the homeless male population. Of the approximately 23 million veterans in the U.S.,  Between 529,000 and 840,000 are homeless at one point throughout the year and every night there are about 300,000 veterans forced to live on the streets. Each year, the amount of homeless veterans is increasing at an alarming rate. It is unacceptable that those who have fought to defend the United States should experience homelessness. The only way to curb these horrible statistics is to work together to improve the lives of those who have sacrificed so much for us. It is of the utmost importance, as evident by the fact that veterans are twice as likely to become homeless for extended periods of time compared any other Americans.

There are a number of reasons for homelessness in the veteran population. Many veterans are unable to transfer their skills from the battlefield to civilian life, which greatly affects newer veterans from Iraq and Afghanistan. Some are unable to work because of combat-related injuries suffered in battle. Experiencing combat also puts veterans at risk for mental health issues which are also a barrier to keeping jobs. To try to self-medicate, some veterans abuse drugs and alcohol, which limit their job prospects. Veterans may also have weak social networks due to the problem of adjusting to civilian life.