The homeless veteran population comprises individuals who have served in various conflicts, spanning from World War II to recent engagements in Iraq and Afghanistan. Research indicates that veterans from the late Vietnam and post-Vietnam era face the highest risk of homelessness. Additionally, veterans returning from recent Middle East conflicts often grapple with severe disabilities, which are known to be associated with homelessness.
Veterans are disproportionately represented within the homeless community, with one in every four homeless men having a military service background. According to estimates from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), approximately 62,619 veterans are homeless on any given night. Over the course of a year, roughly double that number experience homelessness. While only 7% of the general population can claim veteran status, nearly 13% of the homeless adult population are veterans.
Why do veterans experience homelessness in such substantial numbers? This issue stems from a multifaceted combination of factors that contribute to homelessness overall, including a severe shortage of affordable housing, insufficient income, and limited access to healthcare. In the case of veterans, these challenges are further compounded by the enduring effects of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and substance dependency, often exacerbated by the absence of family and social support networks. Furthermore, military skills and training do not always seamlessly transition to civilian employment, putting some veterans at a disadvantage when competing for jobs.
While all HSI projects have provided shelter to many veterans over the years, Kenmore Hall, HSI's largest initiative, has recently launched its Veteran Initiative, aiming to better serve those who have selflessly served our nation.
HSI is home to more than 115
and that number is growing