Homeless Veterans Research Paper

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National Estimates of Homeless Veterans According to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development 2013 Annual Homeless Assessment Report to Congress on any given night in January 2013 there was 57,849 homeless veterans. The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) states that the nation’s homeless veterans are predominantly male, with roughly 8% being female. America’s homeless veterans have served in wars ranging from World War II to the operations in Afghanistan and Iraq (OEF/OIF). The majority is single; live in urban areas; and suffer from mental illness, alcohol and/or substance abuse, or co-occurring disorders. Characteristics of Homeless Veterans Many veterans are homeless due to the poor job market, lack of affordable housing,…show more content…
However, homeless among veterans was not addressed within this legislation. It was thought that by providing for those who had been injured, would also support for those who might be at risk for homelessness. The New Deal refocused social welfare policies and homelessness eventually became a part of the federal and state budgets. Interestingly, homelessness among veterans did not become a recognizable problem until the Vietnam War cohort returned from combat (Kline, et. al., 2009). This became the first group of veterans to become homeless in overwhelming numbers. Programs such as the GI Bill which helped thousands of veterans from World War II did not help Vietnam War veterans escape homelessness. This trend in homeless veterans has continued to the veterans of the Middle Eastern wars, to include the Gulf War and the operations in Afghanistan and Iraq (OEF/OIF). Research shows that despite an overwhelming number of homeless veterans, the VA continued to focus its main mission on providing disability and compensation benefits (Vandenberg, Bergofsky, & Burris, 2010). Programs such as the GI Bill, the Homeless Veterans' Reintegration Program (HVRP) were developed to assist veterans with the hope that these programs could help to keep veterans from becoming homeless, however veterans continued to have episodes of homelessness due to a lack of not only affordable housing but supportive services to address the contributing factors of

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