Military veterans are more likely to be homeless than any other American group, reveals a newly released government study on homelessness among former service members. Yet, vets only make up 10 percent of the adult population.
About 16 percent — or more than 75,000 — veterans in the country do not have a home and live on the streets or in a temporary shelter, according to the study.
Nearly half of the homeless vets are in California, Texas, New York, or Florida.
The study found a higher prevalence of minority vets being homeless (34 percent were African American, and 11 percent were Hispanic), according to the survey.
About 11,300 younger veterans, who were between 18 to 30 years old and who had served in Iraq and Afghanistan, were in shelters at some point during 2009, when the study was originally conducted.
As more troops return from Iraq and Afghanistan, experts say it’s time to do something about the high incidence of homelessness among U.S. vets. President Obama has set a goal to end homelessness among veterans and others by 2015.
To start reaching that goal, HUD is providing $10 million in short-term rental assistance to vets, and the VA is providing $5 million for medical services and case management. Meanwhile, the Labor Department will provide job training and counseling for vets.
Source: “Veterans More Likely to be Homeless, Study Says,” USA Today (Feb. 9, 2011)