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58,000 Veterans are Homeless on Easter

Department of Veterans Affairs
Department of Veterans Affairs
Department of Veterans Affairs

Easter is a joyous season of rebirth and reconciliation, so spare a thought for the 58,000 Americans veterans who are homeless today, and living on the street.

Gregg Zoroya, who writes for USA TODAY, probably knows as much about homeless veterans as anyone, and he has published numerous articles about the situation.

Let’s hope people listen, and lend a helping hand.

Yesterday, in his article, Time is short for audacious goal: End vet homelessness, Zoroya wrote this about the Obama administration’s ambitious plan to end veterans’ homelessness by 2015.

“Veterans who have endured war and the strain of military service make up more than their fair share of the nation's homeless. They are 9.3% of adult Americans but 12% of those living on the streets.”

The plan became Obama administration policy in 2010, but after four and a half years the number of homeless veterans has only declined by 24%.

That means there is a considerable amount of work still needs to be done in the 21 months remaining before the deadline to end veterans homelessness by the end of 2015.

On March 29th, Zoroya wrote about how the Department of Veterans Affairs had been forced to restore aid to homeless veterans, after a storm of protests from community support groups nationwide.

In December the VA had eliminated aid for homeless veterans who have less than honorable discharges.

Zoroya wrote that according to Community Solutions, which maintains a national database on homeless veterans, about 10% of America’s homeless veterans have other-than-honorable discharges.

The VA was going to cut off 6,000 veterans without a back-up plan. The VA did not explain how that was going to help to eliminate veterans’ homelessness.

On January 17th, Zoroya wrote that Up to 48,000 Afghan, Iraq vets at risk for homelessness.

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.

Zoroya isn’t the only one writing about homeless veterans.

Back on November 08, 2007, Erik Eckholm, of the New York Times News Service, published an article that got nationwide distribution.

In Discharged, now destitute, Eckholm wrote that a large number of Iraq and Afghanistan War veterans were homeless after struggling with PTSD, depression, and drug and alcohol abuse.

But amazingly, the Department of Veterans Affairs actually helps to make veterans homeless and destitute .

Study after study has linked divorce to homelessness and destitution among our combat veterans, but the VA still thinks that divorce is a better option than reconciliation and saving the marriage.

Veterans and Homelessness, a study release by the Congressional Research Service in November 2013 listed marital problems (including separation and divorce) as the fourth leading cause of homelessness among veterans.

And yet the VA refuses to help veterans who want to save their marriage.

According to VA counselors, the VA’s Marriage and Couples Counseling program is not about saving the veteran’s marriage, no matter how damaging the separation or divorce is to the veteran.

They can’t tell you what the VA’s Couples Counseling is about, but they can tell you they won’t try to save your marriage.

No wonder, more and more professional psychologists think that the VA is still living in the 19th Century.

Combat veterans go to the VA for help saving their marriage, and the VA stabs them in the back/

Welcome to the world of VA government bureaucrats.

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