Sunday, November 11th, is Veterans’ Day (although it’s observed on Monday the 12th). Happy Veterans Day and just remember, one-fourth of all homeless in this country are veterans. The National Alliance to End Homelessness has released a report, calculating that vets make up 26% of the homeless nationally on any given day, even though they are only 11% of the general population. One out of four homeless are vets. Happy Veterans Day!
Plus, veterans of the Iraqi and Afghanistan wars are beginning to show up in rising numbers at homeless shelters, soup kitchens and parks where homeless people congregate. “We’re beginning to see, across the country, the first trickle of this generation of warriors in homeless shelters,” Phil Landis, chairman of Veterans Village of San Diego, a residence and counseling center, told the New York Times, (NYTimes 11/07/07). Landis added, “But we anticipate that it”s going to be a tsunami.”
A homeless agency in Seattle, the Compass Center, has seen a handful of new homeless vets from the current conflicts each month. Tracy Jones, of the Center, told the Times, she was surprised by “the quickness in which Iraqi Freedom veterans are becoming homeless” compared with the Vietnam era.
More women from the recent wars are also showing up at homeless centers, as more women are serving in combat zones, resulting in a higher share of homeless women vets. More than 11 percent of the newly homeless veterans are women, compared with 4 percent enrolled in homeless programs over all.
And just remember, only 45 shopping days till Christmas!