“On any given night in 2009, nearly 76,000 U.S. veterans were homeless, while at least 136,000 veterans spent at least one night that year in a homeless shelter.” This quote is from the report at the link below. That was in 2009. How many are there now?
Down the street from my home about a quarter mile there is the Veterans Home, this is a place that homeless veterans can stay for as long as needed until they get on their feet. I supported it by voting to allow it to open. I went to the open house when it opened. It is a nice place right next to the high school. The vets volunteer at the local food shelf, as crossing guards when school starts and ends, and doing odd jobs to help the towns residents. There are many reasons for their situation. Lack of work, drug and or alcohol addiction, and many other reasons.
I was lucky when I returned from Vietnam I had my folks to help me get on my feet.
It is a disgrace that we ask these people to fight and then when they get back to America they are abandoned. This is one of my passions, caring for the veterans of America. Here in Vermont we don’t have a large population (600,000) and we don’t have many homeless vets. One is too many though. “Those who have served this nation as veterans should never find themselves on the streets, living without care and without hope,” said VA Secretary Eric Shinseki, in announcing the 2009 plan. “In the past, VA focused largely on getting homeless veterans off the streets. Our five-year plan aims also at preventing them from ever ending up homeless.”
The Veterans Administration has done some work to get a handle on the problem. Senator Sanders has done a lot. But still we have thousands of homeless veterans. More has to be done , we owe them more for their service. After all, we asked them to fight our wars. So we ought to take care of them when they return home. Many of the initiatives to make the veterans benefits easier have been blocked by the (passionate) GOP!
I saw an episode of NCIS that brought this issue to light just last night. Too many vets are homeless and too many also are committing suicide because they can’t get the help they deserve.
It gets personal with me because I waited over six months to get a small increase in my payments for diabetes caused by Agent Orange.