Homeless Veterans – Know More About It


Homeless Veterans: Veteran homelessness has been a scourge in the United States that goes as far back as the 19th century. There are various reasons for veteran homelessness, including poverty, employment loss, and drug and alcohol addiction, mental illness, and health conditions. Veterans are individuals who have gone far and beyond to serve their country in various wars, such as the Vietnam War, the war in Iraq and Afghanistan, the cold war, etc.

Homeless Veterans - Know More About It

Veteran homelessness accounts for about 6% of the homeless population in America. 5% of the veteran population is female, and the estimated population of reported black and Hispanic homeless veterans is about 50%, even though they account for less than 30% of the population. Most veterans have PTSD, mental illness, and drug and alcohol abuse. More are at a higher risk of homelessness due to poverty, poor living conditions, and lack of social and psychological support.

Background to the veteran homelessness issue.

Veteran homelessness is not a new phenomenon, more so in the United States. This issue can be traced back to the Vietnam War. A high number of homeless people were reported, with a majority being male.

The leading cause of veteran homelessness post the Vietnam War was the financial hardship and deteriorating economy that was dominant during that time.

Current status of veteran homelessness.

The number of homeless veterans has been steadily declining, with a reported 2-5% decrease since 2018. The commitment of the federal and local governments, coupled with the volunteer work from non-governmental organizations, has been instrumental in this decline.

States such as Delaware, Connecticut, and Virginia have successfully addressed the issue, while the state with the highest number, Los Angeles, has reduced the number by up to 20%.

There has been an improvement in the state of veteran homelessness in the United States, but the recent covid pandemic may have slowed down this decline. There has been a slight increase in some states since 2019, but the government still prioritizes this as a matter that must be addressed.

Cause of veteran homelessness.


Once veterans are discharged from their military service for whatever reason, most of them lack transferable skills that can be absorbed in the civilian job market. Lack of employment means they cannot cater to basic needs such as food and shelter, giving rise to homelessness.

Mental illness.

War can take a toll on anyone, especially the military men and women at the frontlines keeping us safe. The psychological trauma from the horrible and gory war experience follows them even after being re-introduced to society. This may present in the form of PTSD and chronic anxiety that prevents them from assimilating into the culture.

Lack of support.

The divorce rates among veterans are among the highest, and many prefer to be single. Once discharged, they lack support in assimilating into society, which leads to the number of them living on the streets.

Drug and alcohol abuse.

To deal with the after-effects of military service, some veterans may turn to substance abuse to numb themselves and deal with the trauma, fear, and isolation they experience. The reliance on drugs further deteriorates their mental health and wellbeing, and some choose to be homeless.

Expensive housing.

The cost of housing is generally high and unaffordable for a big portion of the population, including those employed. Veterans are highly disadvantaged as most are unemployed and lack the financial muscle to afford a home.

It is important to note that while the above factors have been linked to being significant causes of veteran homelessness, there have been concerns that these issues are present before people enlist in the military and are not a result of their service. Some individuals pursue military careers due to unemployment, isolation, and mental illness.


Veteran homelessness is an unfortunate issue the United States is trying to address. There has been a significant decrease in the number of homeless veterans in the past years, but the covid pandemic stalled the progress that was being made. There are concerns that the help afforded to veterans does not address the main issue: unemployment, which is a significant contributor. Creating custom solutions that include imparting skills that would make it easier for these individuals to gain unemployment after discharge would be a start.

Frequently asked questions.

Which country does not suffer from homelessness?

Finland has been working to eradicate homelessness since 1980. The country targets the issue by offering national housing as a critical benefit to its citizens.

Are female veterans exposed to the same risk exposures as men?

Female veterans also suffer from unemployment and mental illness after service. They are also exposed to sexual assault, which adds to the psychological trauma.

How can I get help as a veteran?

The veteran’s justice center offers help and support to veterans. You can reach them online, via phone, or access any clinic, which will provide you with more information on how you can receive the assistance you need.

Homeless Veterans – Know More About It

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