Homelessness amid Veterans Essay

Topics: Mental disorder, Veteran, Disability Pages: 7 (1656 words) Published: December 5, 2014
Victoria Allen
Professor Maureen Stobb
Federal Government 2305
5 December 2014

Homelessness amid Veterans with Mental and Physical Disabilities One-third of adult homeless men and nearly one-quarter of all homeless adults have served in the armed forces. On any given night fewer than 200,000 veterans may be homeless; and twice as many may experience homelessness during a year. I chose to explore the specific topic of “Veterans with Mental and Physical Disabilities” because based on recent and past studies, most homeless veterans suffer from mental and/or physical disabilities. About half of all homeless veterans suffer from mental illness and more than two-thirds suffer from substance abuse (alcohol and/or drugs). According to the U.S. government, nearly 40 percent have both psychiatric and substance abuse disorders. Furthermore, I chose this topic because it is unconscionable and disheartening to imagine or even comprehend how those who have served, sacrificed, and fought to protect our country could end-up living in such horrific conditions due to mental and physical disabilities which are most often sustained while serving our country. The subject of Homelessness amid Veterans with Mental and Physical Disabilities was of interest to me because this has been a problem for many years that has not been addressed. Reason being it is not in the government’s own backyard. I don’t believe the government is directly is affected by it as we are. I am, I have a nephew that is a homeless veteran, an alcoholic and suffers from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. I realize that I am directly and indirectly, affected by him and others, who has served a tour of duty or two in the military. As result, they have suffered some level of trauma, interruption, devastation, in their daily lives. This particular veteran happens to be in my family and there are many other veterans’ right here in our communities, any number of us may know within our family, extended family, or friends’ family member. This subject should be of high interest and concern to each of us, as it is a constant reminder of how important it is to be supportive, empathetic, and mindful of those veterans, whether homeless or not, mentally ill or not, that may live, work, or just occupy the same space as we do. Homelessness amid Veterans with Mental and Physical Disabilities make-up a very large part of society. But, the government would want us to think that they are being taken care of even more so, because veterans are very nuclear parts of their family units and their communities. As such, when the veterans are not whole, healthy and functioning at a “normal level,” it is very likely there will be abnormalities within their family units and within their communities. This subsequently causes a major breakdown within structure of providing the “essential needs” of the veteran’s lives, without taking them long intervals before they can access the help and benefits they need. This causes dysfunction, tension, abuse, etc., for the veteran and those around him/her. The issue of homelessness amid veterans has started to become a huge topic of concern; had this topic had been given proper attention years ago, we may not have the high percentage of homeless veterans that we now have. In recent years, the Veterans Administration has increased the level of assistance available to veterans to combat homelessness. In 2009 alone, the Veterans Administration, most commonly referred to as the VA, served more than 92,000 homeless veterans. With an estimated 500,000 homeless veterans at some point during a given year, that equates to the VA reaching only about 20% of those in need. That means that each year there are approximately 400,000 veterans who do not receive supportive services. (Greendoors 1) According to statistical data, the number of veterans, as of September 2009 was approximately 23 million. The primary causes of homelessness among veterans were:...

Cited: Active Legislation - National Coalition for Homeless Veterans
http://nchv.org/index.php/policy/policy/active_legislation/
Greendoors. “Veterans Homelessness Facts.” October 29, 2014
www.greendoors.org/facts/veteran-homelessness.php
Homeless Veterans Reintegration Program - US Department of Labor http://www.dol.gov/vets/programs/hvrp/hvrp-bp.htm
Vargas, Jesse. “Veterans and Mental Illness: The Unfortunate Tragedy” October 30, 2014
http://www.sheldensays.com/vetsmental.htm
Veterans Inc. “Statistics”. October 28, 2014
http://www.veteransinc.org/about-us/statistics/#homelessness
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