HOMELESS VETERANS CAN BECOME
PRODUCTIVE MEMBERS OF SOCIETY
Homelessness is a major social issue facing our society today. Homelessness among United States veterans is of particular concern to me because I understand some of the pressures facing vets upon returning to civilian life. Given the Iraq and Afghanistan tours and number of soldiers returning from multiple tours in “hell”, it’s no wonder the number of homeless vets has more than doubled in the past two years. (Zoroya, 2012) Serious measures need to be taken to save our “fallen soldiers” from the perils of a desperate life on the streets of America. We must first understand the life of homeless vets to draw valuable insight into why conventional attempts at solving this issue are fruitless. Our society needs to take ownership in working with State and Federal Government to implement successful solutions which produce positive results in eliminating homelessness among our veterans. Homeless female vets are often overlooked in current strategies and we need to take this fact into consideration and develop appropriate solutions for the forgotten gender. Finally, restoring vets to a productive role in society is an ongoing process and requires more than putting a transitional roof over their heads and revolving door rehab treatment.
The number of Afghanistan and Iraq veterans who are homeless or risk losing the roof over their heads is increasing as more of these soldiers return home. Through the end of September, 26, 531 of these vets were living on the streets. (Zoroya, 2012) These numbers could be even higher because it only represents the number staying in temporary housing or receiving federal vouchers to pay rent as noted in Department of Veterans’ Affairs reports. (Zoroya, 2012). There were more than 62,600 homeless veterans according to data from January 2012 released by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. (Paralyzed Veterans of America, 2013). Author of Hope...