LatinaLista — As President Bush delivers his speech telling the nation that it's going to take over 20,000 more U.S. troops to bring stability to Iraq, I am rereading the sad statistics about the homeless in this country.
It may or may not surprise anyone to know that a good portion of today's homeless are veterans.
So as we send even more troops into war, we as a nation must not only worry about the danger our troops are facing in Iraq but the psychological trauma that has proven in the past to be just as debilitating as getting shot or losing a limb, and figures in the prospects of veterans who are homeless.
The National Alliance to End Homelessness released a study today called Homelessness Counts.
Among their sad findings were:
- 56 percent of homeless people counted were living in shelters and transitional housing and, shockingly, 44 percent were unsheltered.
- 59 percent of homeless people counted were single adults and 41 percent were persons living in families.
- In total, 98,452 homeless families were counted.
Yet, when the Alliance focused on examing the plight of veterans, the research speaks for itself:
Convergent sources estimate that between 23 and 40 percent of homeless adults are veterans. The U.S. Department of Veterans estimates that as many as 200,000 homeless people are veterans, and that over the course of the year, as many as 500,000 veterans experience homelessness. They are veterans of different wars, including World War II, Korean War, Cold War, Vietnam War, Grenada, Panama, Lebanon; research indicates that those serving in late Vietnam and post-Vietnam era are at greatest risk of homelessness. Recent media accounts highlight a small but growing trend of veterans from Iraq and Afganistan showing up in shelters.