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Up to 48,000 Afghan, Iraq vets at risk for homelessness


Carly Brown, a social worker with the Department of Veterans Affairs, center, and Dave Dyer, a Massachusetts Department of Veterans Services peer specialist, right, search for homeless veterans Nov. 21 in Boston's financial district. The federal government reports a large increase in the number of homeless veterans of the Iraq and Afghanistan Wars.(Photo: Steven Senne, AP)

Carly Brown, a social worker with the Department of Veterans Affairs, center, and Dave Dyer, a Massachusetts Department of Veterans Services peer specialist, right, search for homeless veterans Nov. 21 in Boston’s financial district. The federal government reports a large increase in the number of homeless veterans of the Iraq and Afghanistan Wars.(Photo: Steven Senne, AP)

As more young veterans of recent wars leave the military, the number of them falling on hard times and homelessness continues to rise sharply.

 

by Gregg Zoroya - USA TODAY

 

Nearly 50,000 Iraq and Afghanistan veterans were either homeless or in a federal program aimed at keeping them off the streets during 2013, almost triple the number in 2011, according to numbers released Thursday by the Department of Veterans Affairs.

The number among this generation falling on hard times is rising sharply even as homelessness among veterans of all ages and conflicts has been on the decline, according to the VA.

Advocates for the homeless say many of the estimated 2.5 million Americans who served in the two wars went into combat zones on multiple deployments, something many veterans of previous conflicts never had to endure.

“They’re coming home to a bad economy. The country is different. Their families are different. They are different. Plus they are dealing with PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder) and other issues around mental health,” says Gregory Scott, president of New Directions For Veterans, a non-profit assistance group in Los Angeles.

“We don’t know what the long-term impacts will be on the Iraq and Afghanistan veterans,” says John Driscoll, president and chief executive officer of the National Coalition for Homeless Veterans.

VA spokeswoman Victoria Dillon said the number of Iraq and Afghanistan veterans struggling with homeless issues has grown because the department has expanded efforts to identify and assist them. The department has programs throughout all 50 states, working with community groups to target homeless veterans, and as a consequence, a more accurate picture of the number of these veterans is emerging.

A lack of affordable housing has contributed to veteran homelessness, the VA says.

 

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5 Responses to "Up to 48,000 Afghan, Iraq vets at risk for homelessness"

  1. Grampah  January 17, 2014 at 4:17 pm

    Since they served for greater Israel, the oil barons in London and the international drug criminals, you’d think those evil ones would take care of them before too many wake up and stop supporting “war is a very profitable racket”.

  2. Chandler  January 17, 2014 at 1:44 pm

    This is what happens when a spoiled rotten little immature imp of a man is elected president. When he has an agenda that affects revenge on a foreign leader. The necessity of stealing elections and basing his entire two presidential terms on multiple lies. Now, there is not enough money budgeted to help these people readjust, find a job, housing, food, and pay for their own support. How could any government, especially the U.S. government, ignore the people they’ve suckered into risking their lives, and limbs by their lies?
    There is enough money out there for ALL of them. There’s just not any budgeted to help OUR own people.
    Americans need to find a backbone, take a stand, and begin informing the entire congress of this injustice, and gross callousness these elected leaders practice. THESE ARE OUR OWN PEOPLE, SONS, DAUGHTERS, BROTHERS, SISTERS, UNCLES, COUSINS, etc;, etc;, etc;. Why do we give so many billions to other countries who are trying to bury us! What ever happened to my government leaders? Thank you…keeps us posted. Good read!

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