Why are so many American military veterans sleeping on the streets tonight?
SOUTHFIELD, Mich., March 7, 2013 /PRNewswire-iReach/ -- Sixty thousand American military veterans sleep in homeless shelters or on the street every night.
Every day across the country military recruiters stand in front of high school students and tell them how military service is a great opportunity to build a career. Tell them how the Army, Navy, Marines, and Air Force are a sure ticket to a strong start in life and how through serving their country they also are taking care of themselves. What they don't tell them is that they might find themselves sleeping on the streets of the very country they fought to defend when they come home.
The face of homelessness in America is changing- military veterans have always been at increased risk of homelessness, but in the wake of Iraq and Afghanistan more young veterans are finding themselves without a home in the aftermath of their military service. Through the end of September, 2012 26,531 of them were living on the streets, at risk of losing their homes, staying in temporary housing or receiving federal vouchers to pay rent, the Department of Veterans Affairs reports. That's up from 10,500 in 2010. The VA says the numbers could be higher because they include only the homeless the department is aware of.
The issue only threatens to get worse as the military continues to downsize- over 300,000 men and women are likely to leave the military each of the next four years. President Obama vowed in 2009 to end veteran homelessness by 2015, and while the overall number of homeless veterans has declined slightly, it's nowhere on pace to meet the President's goal. Using an annual one-night count, the tally has fallen from 76,329 in 2010 to 62,619 in 2012, but the imminent flood of new veterans returning home in the wake of military downsizing doesn't bode well for Obama's pledge.
Out on Main Street though, there are some people trying to do their part to stem the tide of veteran homelessness. Organizations like Good Charity, Inc and the Disabled and Paralyzed Veterans Fund. What groups like these do is raise money in a centralized and efficient way and disperse it to the most effective programs around the entire country for combating homelessness amongst veterans.
Disabled and Paralyzed Veterans Fund supports pro-active organizations that seek to not only ameliorate current problems, but to create permanent solutions. One of the recipients of their financial support is a place in East St. Louis, Illinois called the Joseph Center.
While American soldiers are by far the best trained, most heavily funded military force on the planet, American veterans are one of the most likely groups of people to find themselves living on the streets or in a homeless shelter, making up a nightly "army" of over sixty thousand women and men. America can do better!
Media Contact: Press Inquiries Good Charity, Inc., 888-551-9336, firstname.lastname@example.org
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SOURCE Good Charity, Inc.