Thursday, September 02, 2010

Once proud vets. . . now homeless

James V. Carroll's article, "The Secretary's War on Homelessness," appearing in the August 2010 edition of The American Legion Magazine provides a useful overview of the current state of homeless persons who've served in the U. S. Military.  

Veteran's Administration Secretary Eric Shinseki vows to end homelessness among vets within five years, a very ambitious goal.  However, if the statistical trends reveal anything, there is reason to hope.  In 2010 it is estimated that there are 107,000 homeless veterans in the U. S., down 18% from 2009 and down from an estimated 195,000 in 2004. 

Shinseki will spend $3.2 billion during 2010 to continue to move the data in the right direction.  Of his pumped up budget, $2.7 billion will go to medical services.  Only $500 million will go to housing efforts, a mistake in my view.  Medical costs could actually be contained and driven down by the provision of permanent supportive housing, much like exercise and diet programs can have more impact on a person's health status than clinical medical approaches to chronic diseases. 

Consider these facts about U. S. Veterans who live on the streets of our nation:
  • 3% Homeless population who served in Iraq or Afghanistan
  • 20%  All homeless persons who served in military
  • 33% Adult homeless men who served in military
  • 550 Number of veterans from Iraq and Afghanistan who have been treated in VA-connected residential programs
  • 3,700 Number of veterans from Iraq and Afghanistan in VA homeless-outreach programs
  • 56,000 Number of veterans released from prison each year
  • 92,000 Number of homeless veterans served in 2009 by VA specialized homeless programs


Lorlee said...

Waiting, waiting....

for Anon to call them bums or make some derogatory remark about homeless and why don't they pull themselves up by their bootstraps.

They pulled themselves up by their bootstraps and served for us -- the least we can do is provide for them now.

I would hope for Anon that he would really look at the info and God would move his heart.

Anonymous said...

There are vets. There are homeless. It's inevitable that there would be some overlap. I'm wondering if vets are over-represented among the homeless and if there is evidence that service contributed to homelessness. If so, the VA"s efforts make sense. If not, not that there's anything worng with helping, but it's hard to see this as a vet issue.

Larry James said...

In Dallas, about 1 in 3 chronically homeless are vets.

Anonymous said...

Kim Horner reported in the DMN, citing a HUD survey, that the number of homeless who are veterans, comprise about 20% of the homeless population

Anonymous said...


I am so honored that you would think of me in anticipation of a wise response.

I save my derogatory remarks not for the homeless, themselves. God knows their hearts - and mine when at times I give and at times I withhold. My remarks are saved for the devious community organizer, the thoughtless bureaucrat, and the selfish voter - all who gleefully accept that 40+% of our population pay nothing in federal income taxes.

Oh, yeah, and I have harsh remarks for the feaux theologian, who would dare attempt to link commerce with sin and government handouts with grace.

Keep praying to The Obama. Somewhere,loRleE, there's a "Good Life Card" out there with your name on it.