By Debbie Gregory.
Veterans are homeless for different reasons and have different needs, but one thing that every homeless veteran needs is a home. Because of veterans’ military service, this population is at higher risk of experiencing traumatic brain injuries and Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), both of which have been found to be among the most substantial risk factors for homelessness
No veteran should be without a place to call home. Those who have risked their lives for our freedom should not come home and be forced to sleep on the streets.
According to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), and the U.S. Interagency Council on Homelessness (USICH) the number of veterans experiencing homelessness in the United States has been cut nearly in half since 2010. Much of the success can be attributed in part to the effectiveness of the HUD-VASH Program.
Although that is a great statistic, as of January of this year, there were still approximately 13,000 homeless veterans living on the streets, with about 50% of those living in just two states: California and Florida.
Veterans and their families may also call 1-877-4AID-VET (1-877-424-3838) to access VA services.
Additionally, CalVet is addressing California’s veteran homelessness by working with various government and non-government agencies and organizations, throughout the state, to provide advocacy and services needed by veterans who are homeless or at risk. To find housing assistance programs available in the area, call (800) 952-5626 or (800) 221-8998 (outside California).