By: Brian Evans
Unfortunately today, too many of the men and women who serve our nation by putting their lives on the line for our freedoms, end up homeless and neglected. Unfortunately, the cities throughout the United States have taken the money entrusted to them by their American constituents and spent it on food, water, shelter, and even legal expenses for illegal aliens, rather than helping our nations war heroes, let alone the homeless American’s themselves!
According to the National Coalition for Homeless Veterans…
the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) states that the nation’s homeless veterans are predominantly male, with roughly 9% being female. The majority are single; live in urban areas; and suffer from mental illness, alcohol and/or substance abuse, or co-occurring disorders. About 11% of the adult homeless population are veterans.
Roughly 45% of all homeless veterans are African American or Hispanic, despite only accounting for 10.4% and 3.4% of the U.S. veteran population, respectively.
Homeless veterans are younger on average than the total veteran population. Approximately 9% are between the ages of 18 and 30, and 41% are between the ages of 31 and 50. Conversely, only 5% of all veterans are between the ages of 18 and 30, and less than 23% are between 31 and 50.
America’s homeless veterans have served in World War II, the Korean War, Cold War, Vietnam War, Grenada, Panama, Lebanon, Persian Gulf War, Afghanistan and Iraq (OEF/OIF), and the military’s anti-drug cultivation efforts in South America. Nearly half of homeless veterans served during the Vietnam era. Two-thirds served our country for at least three years, and one-third were stationed in a war zone.
About 1.4 million other veterans, meanwhile, are considered at risk of homelessness due to poverty, lack of support networks, and dismal living conditions in overcrowded or substandard housing.
How many homeless veterans are there?
Although flawless counts are impossible to come by – the transient nature of homeless populations presents a major difficulty – the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) estimates that 40,056 veterans are homeless on any given night.
Approximately 12,700 veterans of Operation Enduring Freedom (OEF), Operation Iraqi Freedom (OIF) and Operation New Dawn (OND) were homeless in 2010. The number of young homeless veterans is increasing, but only constitutes 8.8% of the overall homeless veteran population.
Why are veterans homeless?
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 substance abuse, 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.
A top priority for homeless veterans is secure, safe, clean housing that offers a supportive environment free of drugs and alcohol.
Doesn’t VA take care of homeless veterans?
To a certain extent, yes. Each year, VA’s specialized homelessness programs provide health care to almost 150,000 homeless veterans and other services to more than 112,000 veterans. Additionally, more than 40,000 homeless veterans receive compensation or pension benefits each month.
Since 1987, VA’s programs for homeless veterans have emphasized collaboration with such community service providers to help expand services to more veterans in crisis. VA, using its own resources or in partnerships with others, has secured nearly 15,000 residential rehabilitative and transitional beds and more than 30,000 permanent beds for homeless veterans throughout the nation. These partnerships are credited with reducing the number of homeless veterans by 70% since 2005. More information about VA homeless programs and initiatives can be found here.
What services do veterans need?
Veterans need a coordinated effort that provides secure housing, nutritional meals, basic physical health care, substance abuse care and aftercare, mental health counseling, personal development and empowerment. Additionally, veterans need job assessment, training and placement assistance.
NCHV strongly believes that all programs to assist homeless veterans must focus on helping them obtain and sustain employment.
What seems to work best?
The most effective programs for homeless and at-risk veterans are community-based, nonprofit, “veterans helping veterans” groups. Programs that seem to work best feature transitional housing with the camaraderie of living in structured, substance-free environments with fellow veterans who are succeeding at bettering themselves.
Government money, while important, is limited, and available services are often at capacity. It is critical, therefore, that community groups reach out to help provide the support, resources and opportunities that most Americans take for granted: housing, employment and health care. Veterans who participate in collaborative programs are afforded more services and have higher chances of becoming tax-paying, productive citizens again.
Today, rather than helping those veterans to have access to medical care, a warm bed, or even a hot meal with clean water, Sanctuary cities have become welcome centers for illegal aliens, investing the taxpayer’s money into protecting and financing illegal immigration, rather than providing the much-needed help and assistance that the homeless need!
Democrats had long called for open borders, but when President Trump threatened to bus border crossers and illegal aliens into sanctuary cities and into states, like California, as the holding facilities for illegals have become filled to capacity, with thousands more being arrested daily, a number of Democrats, Hollywood actors and producers, and the Mainstream Media cried foul, as they voiced their concerns over the diseases and exorbitant costs that would befall upon their communities and neighborhoods!
However, some Democrat mayors across the country in New York City, Oakland, California, and Chicago, Illinois, all began encouraging dropping the illegal aliens off in their communities and neighborhoods. This led to Hollywood celebrity Cher, who is an outspoken critic of President Trump, and a supporter of open borders, to hit her wit’s end, when Cher said that she failed to understand how the city of Los Angeles in the sanctuary state of California could afford to admit and take care of any more immigrants when city officials have failed to care for homeless, veterans, and poverty-stricken Americans. Cher said…
Ironically, Cher is right, as the Democrat-led cities policies have led to a growing homeless population, and homeless tent cities, like one, would see in third world nations!
Regardless, Democrat-led cities continue to encourage illegal immigration into their cities, with Los Angeles being recorded as the second largest homeless population in the country, second to only New York City. Reports indicate that about 50,000 residents of Los Angeles are homeless and about 7.5 percent of California’s American Veteran population is homeless.
Also, as of 2017, there were more than 2,700 Oakland residents who were homeless, which is an increase of 25 percent when compared to two years before. In all of Alameda County, there are about 5,630 homeless residents. In all of California, there are nearly 130,000 homeless residents, including nearly 11,000 homeless American Veterans.
Fox News reported that…
officials at San Francisco International Airport (SFO) are evaluating how to best address the growing issue of homeless people taking shelter in the air hub, the latest challenge stemming from the northern California city’s homelessness crisis.
Earlier this week, Fox 2 KTVU reported that SFO is experiencing a recent “surge” of homeless people taking refuge in the busy airport; many are said to arrive in the middle of the night via BART trains south from the city, as per the San Francisco Chronicle.
Though reps for SFO did not immediately return Fox News’ request for comment on the story, spokesperson Doug Yagel told KTVU that administrators are working hard to produce effective short and long-term solutions to the matter.
New York’s Marxist driven mayor said…
“Undocumented immigrants (illegal aliens) are our neighbors and part of the backbone of our economy. It’s mind-boggling that they aren’t allowed to have driver’s licenses in New York State.”
Meanwhile, DeBlasio fails to note that there are nearly 64,000 homeless residents in New York City, including more than 15,000 homeless families with almost 23,000 homeless children. In addition, New York is home to more than 1,200 homeless American veterans. Chicago Mayor Rahm Emmanuel said…
As a welcoming city, we would welcome these migrants with open arms, just as we welcomed Syrian refugees, just as we welcomed Puerto Ricans displaced by Hurricane Maria and just as we welcome Rohingya refugees fleeing genocide in Myanmar,” Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel said.
Regardless, with more than half a million Americans who are homeless across the nation, as well as, tens of thousands of homeless veterans, America’s left is setting up our nation to sink further into the depths of poverty, as their policies continue to erode the wealth and prosperity of America’s population! Unfortunately, with the Democrats pushing for illegal immigration at not only an accelerating and unprecedented rate, but they are turning their backs on those who need their help the most, America’s homeless, as well as, America’s homeless veteran population!