February 11, 2011

THE SHAME OF VETERAN HOMELESSNESS

Written by:

Hispanic and African American Vets at greater risk of living on the streets/shelters

Our guest blogger today is Mark Johnston, HUD Deputy Assistant Secretary for Special Needs Programs

For the first time ever, HUD and the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) published the most comprehensive analysis of the extent of homelessness among American veterans.  According to HUD and VA’s assessment released this week, nearly 76,000 veterans were homeless on a given night in 2009, while roughly 136,000 veterans spent at least one night in a shelter during that year – a national tragedy.

HUD Secretary Shaun Donovan has said that “understanding the nature and scope of homelessness among all our veterans is critical to meeting President Obama’s goal of ending veterans’ homelessness by 2015.”

Overall, veterans are fifty percent more likely to become homeless compared to all Americans, and the risk is even greater among poor minority veterans.  Of all veterans in shelters, 34% were African American and 11% were Hispanic. By comparison, only 11% of all veterans are African American and 5% are Hispanic. That means that Hispanics and African Americans are significantly overrepresented in the homeless population.  The risk of homelessness among poor minority veterans is even greater. Poor Hispanic veterans are twice as likely to use a shelter compared with poor non-Hispanic veterans.  African American veterans in poverty had similar rates of homelessness.

HUD and VA are currently working together to administer a joint program specifically targeted to homeless veterans.  Already, through the HUD-Veterans Affairs Supportive Housing (HUD-VASH) Program, HUD provides rental assistance for homeless veterans while VA offers case management and clinical services.  Since 2008, a total investment of $225 million is working to provide housing connected to VA health care for some 30,000 veterans who had been homeless. And last month, HUD awarded $1.4 billion to keep nearly 7,000 local homeless assistance programs operating in the coming year.  These programs house hundreds of thousands of persons who had lived on our streets and in emergency shelters.  Finally, the Department also allocated $1.5 billion through its newHomeless Prevention and Rapid Re-housing (HPRP) Program, to prevent people from becoming homeless due to the recession and to rapidly re-house those who fell into homelessness.

11 Responses to THE SHAME OF VETERAN HOMELESSNESS

  1. I am a veteran; since 1973. The Viet Nam conflict as you all know; was not a good come home thing for any veteran at that time. I cam home; to find I was nothing; and I had almost gotten married to someone that may as well not have ever existed; because that is how she is with me. Suspicious is not even the half of it.

    I came home; hoping to continue my life. I did not want to hurt or see anyone get hurt. I am 60 years old now; my own family is such a group of cowards I can hardly mention them. They blame the veteran for Viet Nam or something else out of our control; and then even murder us in the name of the government? I say it is in the interest of you are a coward and you do not care or like your men and women anymore than Ho Chi Min did. And that is how communist all of you are. And you said the Viet Nam veteran was at fault? For doing what we did not want to be there; but we were sent and we did a great job considering 300,000 VC died compared to 60,000 Americans. I mean in the averages of what I was taught in American schools I do not think we did that bad.

    The problem seems to be part supremist oriented and the fact that no one seemed to do; unless what? HUH, I did not have to go to any “meeting” to figure out what a great country I live in; I live in it; and that is how.

    Most of you can put your stupid atitudes and reasons for abusing people back up your ass; and keep it for all I care. Thank you for all your help. YOU have helped make veterans homeless; not them. Who did the veterans “work for”? Yeah, right; I commanded myself to do what my country needs and I still do; and to hell with you if you don’t like it YOU CAN MOVE!

    • It’s truly a disgrace how veterans are treated in our country, not necessarily by the citizens, but by the U.S. government itself. Sure there are programs designed to help the veterans, but it isn’t made transparent enough. Your chances of winning the lottery are better than your chances of finding a helpful government program for veterans. What a shame.

  2. did you really do something for our veterans; at least since Viet Nam; the biggest bitch session about the military in the history of the United States.

    If you did something; was it to help us all die?

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  4. I work for a company that is working hard to provide housing for Veterans. We see it as a HUGE issue that has to be tackled from not only the public sector but also the private sector. People that serve our country deserve to get proper care and housing upon return from battle. That is the least we can do. After all, isn’t our society’s morals based upon helping out your fellow man?

  5. IF EVERYONE IN THE GOVERNMENT SAYS THEY CARE SO MUCH ABOUT THE VETS THEN WHY ARE THEY EXCLUDED FROM THE GOOD NEIGHBOUR PROGRAM WHERE THEY CAN QUALIFY FOR HOUSING AT 50%OFF THROUGH HUD. ARE THEY NOT GOOD ENOUGH? THIS WOULD HELP RETURNING VETS AND THEIR FAMILIES GET BACK ON THEIR FEET AFTER THEY WERE WRONGFULLY FORECLOSED ON,OR WHOSE MORTGAGES WERE BOTCHED FROM THE BEGINNING.MOST OF THOSE VETS ARE FIRST RESPONDER QUALIFIED,AS WELL TRAINED AS FIREFIGHTERS AND MILITARY POLICE F.I.! WHERE IS THE JUSTICE HERE????

  6. The way the Federal Reserve is set up, it’s only a matter of time really. The veterans tend to feel it the hardest because let’s be honest, they have no formal job training when they come home. It’s statistically proven that people are less likely to hire a veteran.

    Many people also tend to blame veterans because in hindsight, we always find out sooner or later that every war is founded on political lies.

    For what it’s worth, if I see a homeless veteran, I give them a few bucks. I don’t care if it’s going to drugs and alcohol. I appreciate the sacrifice.

  7. I whole-heartly agree with the reality check Veterans must face once they are discharged from the military. I guess the hard question is why veterans especially disabled from the war on terror have to endure such hardship sine many of them leave the military suffering from post traumatic stress Disorders or traumatic Brain Injury only to take a back seat to others that have not committed themselves to service to our country.

    From a Veterans Service Organization point of view, we have seen veterans seeking housing and other crucial services in the local community only to be turned away even though a President Executive Order places a high priority on these veterans to receive care. We must confront this disconnect.

  8. HUD Secretary Shaun Donovan has said that “understanding the nature and scope of homelessness among all our veterans is critical to meeting President Obama’s goal of ending veterans’ homelessness by 2015.” Cheers! Ramji Law Firm, Houston injury attorney specializing in Houston personal injury attorney services.

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