Veteran care is an important, growing part of America’s aging population challenges and new statistics show the chance that senior veterans and those from the Baby Boomer generation to be homeless are significantly higher than non-veterans. The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) recently published a study on the extent and nature of homelessness among America’s veterans as an adjunct to the 2009 Annual Homeless Assessment Report to Congress . The research finds that almost 136,000 veterans spent at least one night in a homeless shelter in 2009.
“With our federal, state and community partners working together, more Veterans are moving into safe housing,” said Secretary of Veterans Affairs Eric K. Shinseki. “But we’re not done yet. Providing assistance in mental health, substance abuse treatment, education and employment goes hand-in-hand with preventive steps and permanent supportive housing. We continue to work towards our goal of finding every Veteran safe housing and access to needed services.”
The study finds that veterans represent almost 12 percent of all homeless persons during the 2009 study. Other findings from the study include:
- 39 percent of homeless veterans are 51–61 years compared with 19 percent of homeless non-veterans
- 9 percent of homeless veterans are 62 years and older compared with 4 percent of homeless non-veterans
- Veterans are fifty percent more likely to become homeless compared to all Americans and the risk is even greater among veterans living in poverty and poor minority veterans
- Nearly half of homeless veterans were located in California, Texas, New York and Florida while only 28 percent of all veterans were located in those same four States
For the full report, visit: Veteran Homelessness: A Supplement to the 2009 Annual Homeless Assessment Report to Congress.