US: Homeless veterans
Glenye Cain forwards this from the Christian Science Monitor (2/ 8/05):
Back from Iraq - and suddenly out on the streets
Social service agencies say the number of homeless vets is rising, in part because of high housing costs and gaps in pay. Dozens of other veterans' service providers are concerned by the increasing numbers of new veterans ending up on streets and in shelters. Part of the reason for these new veterans' struggles is that housing costs have skyrocketed at the same time real wages have remained relatively stable, often putting rental prices out of reach. And for many, there is a gap of months, sometimes years, between when military benefits end and veterans benefits begin. "We are very much committed to helping veterans coming back from this war," says Mr. Cameron, executive director of Vietnam Veterans of California. "But the [Department of Veterans Affairs] already has needs it can't meet and there's a lot of fear out there that programs are going to be cut even further."
Both the Veterans Administration and private veterans service organizations are already stretched, providing services for veterans of previous conflicts. For instance, while an estimated 500,000 veterans were homeless at some time during 2004, the VA had the resources to tend to only 100,000 of them. "You can have all of the yellow ribbons on cars that say 'Support Our Troops' that you want, but it's when they take off the uniform and transition back to civilian life that they need support the most," says Linda Boone, executive director of The National Coalition for Homeless Veterans.
For the complete article, see
Ronald Hilton 2004
February 28, 2005