Vulnerable Population the homeless vetrans

Topics: Health care, Homelessness, Poverty Pages: 6 (1727 words) Published: April 14, 2014

A Vulnerable Population the Homeless Veterans
Patricia Dilbert
April 7, 2014
Deanna Radford, MSN, RN, CNE
A Vulnerable Population the homeless Veterans
In this presentation, we will explore a vulnerable population with the focus on the homeless veterans. According to Mckinney Act”(1987) A homeless person is one who lacks a fixed, regular and adequate nighttime residence. One who has a primary nighttime residence that is a supervised publicly or privately operated shelter, a temporary residence for individuals intended to be institutionalized, or a public or private place not ordinarily used as a regular sleeping accommodation for human beings. Vulnerable populations are often used to portray groups whose needs are not fully addressed by traditional service providers (Blue-Howells, J., McGuire, J., & Nakashima, J., 2008). These people believe they cannot comfortably or safely access and use the standard resources offered. Some of the issues facing homeless veterans include physical or mental disabilities, limited or non-English speaking, geographic or cultural isolation, medical or chemical dependent, homeless, frail/elderly and children. Homeless veterans are examples of a vulnerable population. In this presentation, we will explore the present state of homeless veterans. However, what is alarming is that, there are far too many veterans who are homeless. In addition, most Americans including myself believe veterans should be living a healthy and successful life as compensation for their sacrifice for fighting for their country.

According (Wills, 2008) Many people in the United States think the needs of veterans are the responsibility of the government. In an ideal situation, the federal government would provide veterans with access to employment, housing, retirement or a pension, and free health care. Veterans need these services because of many health risks such as physical or mental health issues placed upon soldiers in war zones. These risks can develop into disabilities, which can limit the productivity of veterans leading to unemployment. Moreover, if these veterans remain unemployed, they cannot care for their families or themselves. Because of this, the government must assume the responsibility of ensuring our veterans, are granted the kind of life we as a nation owe to them for their services. In addition, the government must remain sensitive and address the needs of veterans. However, when viewing the current homeless situation, I was surprised to find that veterans make up the majority of the homeless population (National Coalition for Homeless Veterans, 2010a). These veterans are unable to provide their own shelter, find and maintain employment, and in general take care of themselves.

Veterans are those who have served in the United States armed forces during the Second World War, Korean War, Vietnam War, Gulf War, and any other military campaign or occupations such as the current war in Iraq and Afghanistan. The definition, which is perhaps more defining is “A veteran is someone who at one point in his/her life, wrote a blank check made payable to ‘The United States of America,’ for an amount of ‘up to and including my life.’” (Author Unknown, n.d.). As a Nurse, I have recognized that I had developed a bias in that I did not realize that many of the young, homeless, drug addicted patients which I have cared for have been veterans. I have realized that most of their addictions and homeless status was not caused by a selfish act of trying to find a euphoric high, but a means of self-medicating to deal with the stress inflicted upon them as a result of their selflessness in serving our country. Several factors and causes influence the homelessness of veterans, such as the unemployment, rising costs of housing and quality of life, their inaccessibility to health care services, etc. Some of them have experienced working; however, the insufficient...

References: Blue-Howells, J., McGuire, J., & Nakashima, J. (2008). Co-location of health care services for
homeless veterans: a case study of innovation in program implementation
McMurray-Avila, M. (2001). Homeless Veterans and Health Care. Retrieved April 4, 2008, from
National Coalition for Homeless Veterans . (2010a). Homeless Veterans. Retrieved April 3,
2014, from the National Coalition for Homeless Veterans
2, 2014, from the National Coalition for Homeless Veterans. Website:
National Coalition for Homeless Veterans. (2010c). Policy and Legislation. Retrieved April 2,
2014, from the National Coalition for Homeless Veterans
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