Amid the pandemic, many of our veterans experienced homelessness. With rates lowered by 50 percent between 2010 and 2019, the pandemic saw a crash in employment prospects for discharged service members. Although there is still a high percentage of homeless veterans, not many of us have become aware of the reasons why many veterans become homeless in the first place. Today, we’d like to shed light on the reasons why many veterans become homeless.
Injuries that include burns, wounds, and even severe life-altering brain or spinal injuries leave many veterans unable to find or secure a job because the damage has gone untreated. Those injured while deployed or in active duty elsewhere may not have families they can turn to for help. Most even get turned away from military hospitals because of the low supply of beds or an inability to cover costs. The inability to access a hospital largely impacts a veteran’s life when they return home.
Mental illness is another tragic reason that veterans become homeless. Even though it’s common to see horrific events in war, when a veteran returns home, the memories of war heavily impact their mental health, leading some to develop post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). The mental illnesses developed once they return home can significantly influence how they can get a job. Mental illness is one of the leading causes of veteran homelessness.
A Lack of Resources
When a veteran returns home, they often come back with injuries, both physical and mental. When the illnesses separate the soldier from their family, finding housing and other resources to help the veteran is challenging. If there is no housing available or other resources are lacking, many people will end up homeless. However, this isn’t the veteran’s fault.
As we prepare to celebrate our veterans, it’s important to remember to continuously do our part to help support veterans, even those who face homelessness every day. To help your community and give back to veterans, consider taking time and donating to charities that support veterans and provide donated supplies to veterans in need. For every donation given, charities and hospitals have the ability to deliver supplies to displaced veterans and provide the resources needed to get them on their feet.