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Thursday, November 8, 2007

Tsunami Effect

Kimberly Hefling and Kathy Matheson, Associated Press Writers report that veterans make up one in four homeless people in the United States, though they are only 11 percent of the general adult population, according to a VA homeless report to be released today. Homelessness is not just a problem among middle-age and elderly veterans. Younger veterans from Iraq and Afghanistan are now found in shelters and soup kitchens seeking services, treatment or help with finding a job. The Veterans Affairs Department has identified 1,500 homeless veterans from the current wars. 2005 data estimated that 194,254 homeless people out of 744,313 on any given night in the U.S. were veterans.

There are now concerns for veterans from Iraq and Afghanistan. "We're going to be having a tsunami [effect] … because the mental health toll from this war is enormous," said Daniel Tooth, director of veterans affairs for Lancaster County, Pa. The Iraq vets seeking help with homelessness are more likely to be women, less likely to have substance abuse problems, but more likely to have mental illness — mostly related to post-traumatic stress, said Pete Dougherty, director of homeless veterans programs at the VA.

More on the Internet:

National Alliance to End Homelessness:

County of Lancaster:

Veterans Affairs: Department:

U.S. Vets:

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

We've felt this issues first hand in our family. My nephew had 3 tours of duty and came back a broken man. He has been diagnosed with Post Traumatic Stress disorder and had been medicated but his violence has ruined a marriage and prevents him from being a real father. Right now he is living on someone's couch, his soon to be ex wife is equally poor and has had to move into temporary housing. There are so many victims of war!