The veteran homelessness population is made up of veterans who served in several different conflicts, ranging from World War II to the recent conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan.Though research indicates that veterans who served in the late Vietnam and post-Vietnam era are at greatest risk of homelessness, veterans returning from the recent conflicts in the Middle East often have severe disabilities that are known to be correlated with homelessness.
Veterans are over-represented in the homeless population, with one out of every four homeless men having served our country. The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) estimates that 62,619 veterans are homeless on any given night. Over the course of a year, approximately twice that many experience homelessness. Only 7% of the general population can claim veteran status, but nearly 13% of the homeless adult population are veterans.
Why are veterans homeless in such great numbers? In addition to the complex set of factors influencing all homelessness – extreme shortage of affordable housing, livable income and access to health care – a large number of displaced and at-risk veterans live with lingering effects of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and chemical dependency, which are compounded by a lack of family and social support networks. Additionally, military occupations and training are not always transferable to the civilian workforce, placing some veterans at a disadvantage when competing for employment.
While all HSI projects have been home to many veterans over the years, Kenmore Hall, HSI's largest project, recently began its Veteran Initiative to serve more of those who have served us all.
HSI is home to more than 115
and that number is growing