Thursday, November 8, 2007

1 in 4 Homeless are Veterans

A new study released today indicates that 25% of the homeless people in America are military veterans, and that a growing number of them are casualties of the current wars in Iraq & Afghanistan.

Last year, as you can see on our statistics summary, "only" 9% of PACEM's guests were veterans, but it looks like that number is likely to increase as more men and women come home from Iraq & Afghanistan bearing scars that may take decades (if ever) to heal.

Perhaps it's time to update the slogan "Support The Troops -- Bring Them Home" to "Support The Troops -- Bring Them Home -- Make Sure They Have a Home."

4 comments:

The Road Runner said...

It seems we still haven't fully learned from our mistakes as a nation... Wouldn't it be better to have a "debriefing" period when a soldier ends his term of service to readjust to civilian life - and smooth the transition?

DaveNorris said...

Agreed. We also need to make damn sure we are providing the long-term medical and mental health support they need so they don't fall through the cracks so easily...

lani said...

actually there are "debriefing" times..a friend of mine led them at his post. the soldiers who come back for the first few days go to a "work environment" half the day and then can be at home the other half. this gives time for both the soldier and the spouse to readjust.there is counseling sessions,too. but i agree, there's alot more to be done to insure the long-term effects stay positive.it breaks my heart that these men and women who serve our country are the same ones who we see in the shelters or on the streets.

Jeff Cornelius said...

In the January 2007 homeless census, 23 of 127 people who answered that question (19%) said they were veterans. There's always some risk of not counting some more than others, and not finding people who have some experience living outdoors and navigating bureaucracy would be no surprise.
My personal opinion is that the existence of more than a handful of homeless veterans should be a source of shame to all of us.

Jeff Cornelius