Essay On Homeless Veterans

Veterans are an important part of our nation and do not get the credit that they deserve. Veterans have risked their lives for this country countless times, yet they go unappreciated a lot of times. From a personal stance, my grandfather is a retired veteran himself and he fought in the Vietnam War. If my grandfather had not been able to get on his feet from retiring from the Navy, I would hope that there would be some type of support system for him. A lot of veterans today do not have the support system that they had when they were in the service.

Once the veterans are out of the service their lives are not structured while in the service they were organized and controlled. The problem today is that veterans are becoming more and more homeless. For too many of these citizens, help is hard to come by. According to Green Doors, 96% of veterans come from poverty, low-income families. Many say that homeless veterans are males, but female veterans are becoming more homeless as the years go on. In the year 2006, 150 female veterans were from the Iraqi and Afghanistan Wars; then in the year 2011, there were 1,700 female veterans (Green Doors).

Also in the year 2011, 18% of the people helped by the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) were females (Green Doors). About 53% of veterans are homeless and half of those veterans suffer from mental disabilities. Two-thirds of these veterans suffer from drug abuse, and then others may suffer from both mental disabilities and drug abuse. About 17% of homeless people are veterans and the VA estimates that there are around 76,000 veterans sleeping on the streets.

Veterans are more likely to become homeless because of the lack of support system, poverty, bad living conditions, and substandard housing (Green Doors). There are 1. 5 million veterans at-risk, which means that the veteran is paying more than 50% of their income on housing cost. Also the household may have someone living alone, have a disability, or does not work. In the year 2009, the VA has helped more than 92,000 veterans. Yet there are 500,000 veterans that are homeless and the VA has only helped 20% of those veterans, while 400,000 are still not helped (Green Doors).

Veterans participating in the HUD-VASH program rent privately owned housing and generally contribute no more than 30 percent of their income toward rent (HUD, 2013). ” For a veteran to be eligible for the program there are certain areas where they must have problems. According to the U. S. Department of Veterans Affairs, a veteran must have a serious mental illness, chronic substance abuse over a number of years, or physically disabled. The ones eligible must also be involved in case management and use the supportive services that is available (VA, 2012).

The VA will decide if a veteran is eligible for the program, but the PHA determines if the veteran fits into the requirements of the program (VA, 2012). But if there is a member of the household applying for the program that is a registered lifelong sex offender, then that member of the household is not eligible for the program (VA, 2012). The HUD-VASH program has benefits not just for the veteran but also for the landlords that allow veterans to stay in their homes. For the landlords they are always going to get paid for renting out their properties (VA, 2013).

The landlords can also choose how much they charge, but it is based on local costs (VA, 2013). For inspections, the landlords are recertified every year and inspected by a third-party (VA, 2013). The landlords also get VA benefits just like a veteran would (VA, 2013). Then of course, the landlords can honor the veterans that risked their lives for the country. “The U. S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and the U. S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) today announced the second round of HUD-Veterans Affairs Supportive Housing (HUD-VASH) funding to local public housing gencies across the U. S. and Puerto Rico.

The $7. 8 million will provide housing and clinical services for 1,120 currently homeless veterans (HUD, 2013). ” In May of 2013, HUD and the VA awarded $60 million in housing vouchers (HUD, 2013). Also in the year of 2013, $75 million grants are awarded to support housing of homeless veterans (HUD, 2013). There is not a lot of negativity towards this housing program for veterans. Some may wonder how the program is funded by the government because of how much it costs.

The government also sets a budget each year and there are ways that programs are funded: privately or governmentally. This program is a great start to getting veterans off the streets at night. The veterans deserve it, especially after all they have done to protect this country. The veterans do have problems such as substance abuse, but that is where the supportive system that they need comes in to help. Not every person is perfect, but if everyone offered a hand to someone in need it could make a huge difference.