So what was in homeless news this week? That’s right: veterans.
On Wednesday, the nation celebrated Veterans Day, – a moment to remember, recognize, and honor those who have served in defense of the country.
Data shows that an alarming number of these soldiers face homelessness after their service; the most recent data suggests that veterans are twice as likely to experience homelessness as someone who has not served. Veterans often experience a host of emotional, physical, and psychological issues that prevent then from successfully acculturating back into civilian life.
These key issues were explored in the last week of news clips, with old, new, and alternative media outlets covering the different aspects of veterans homelessness.
New America Media included the story of David Harness, a veteran experiencing homelessness in San Francisco. Using his experience as frame in the a story about the administration’s commitment to ending veterans homelessness and the findings of the Alliance’s recent Data Update, writer Aaron Glantz highlights the reality of the problem that exists today.
The Christian Science Monitor offered a roundup of federal steps being taken to address veterans homelessness – these include a national summit on ending veterans homeless, several bills in Congress, as well as an executive order establishing a new Interagency Council on Veterans Employment.
An editorial in the Los Angeles Times brought attention to the rate of mental illness among veterans, and specifically veterans of our current conflicts. The article points to a Rand Corp study last year that found almost 20 percent of veterans from our conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan report PTSD or depression; the same study suggests that suicide rates of these veterans is 11 percent higher than those from Vietnam.
And finally, we come to an article that was published last week, Homelessness in America: Finally Glimmers of Light in Citiwire.net. Neal Peirce, of the Washington Post Writers Groupoffers a thoughtful, comprehensive, and informative piece about veterans homelessness – and all homelessness. Peirce finds the relationship between homelessness and the health care debate, between chronic homelessness and veterans homelessness, and the ultimate solution to homelessness:
“It’s starting to dawn on more people that the best cure for homelessness is shockingly simple: provide the homeless with a home.”
Couldn’t have said it better myself.