Wince of the Week, July 29- August 4, 2012
The EHRP Team winced hard when we read that between 529,000 and 840,000 veterans are homeless at some time during the year in the United States . For more on this sad reality:
More than 10,000 Iraq and Afghanistan veterans are homeless or in programs aimed at keeping them off the streets, a number that has doubled three times since 2006, according to figures released by the Department of Veterans Affairs.
“We’re seeing more and more (Iraq and Afghanistan veterans),” says Richard Thomas, a Volunteers of America case manager at a shelter in Los Angeles. “It’s just a bad time for them to return now and get out of the military.”
The VA blames the rise on a poor economy and the nature of the current wars, where a limited number of troops serve multiple deployments.
LaShonna Perry, a former Army mechanic who served in Iraq and Afghanistan, was homeless for more than year after leaving the military. She rented an apartment last year with a federal voucher. “Some soldiers still have issues they’re dealing with from what they’ve seen, what they’ve experienced,” she says. “Some think, ‘There’s nothing wrong with me.’ They can deal with it on their own. Until it gets out of control.”
- An excerpt from Gregg Zoroya’s July 26, 2011 piece for USAToday