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November 11th, 2011

The fight to end veteran homelessness

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militarycoupleSometimes it’s easy to forget about the national holidays which aren’t “paid” holidays or those in which we aren’t gathered around the family table for a big meal. Yet as I began to feel the rumble and hear the sounds of what turned out to be a steady stream of camouflaged Army Jeeps, Humvees, small tanks and cargo vehicles making their way down the street outside my office window, I quickly remembered that today is Veteran’s Day.

Thoughts of my grandfathers–both veterans of WWII–and my friends who served quickly filled my head. I send a few “Happy Veteran’s Day” text messages and then moved on with my day.

But today, that’s easier said than done. There’s a parade going through the center of town today to honor the veterans of past wars and current conflicts. And it’s those current conflicts in the Middle East, especially, that should serve to keep our nation’s veterans at the forefront of our minds, today and every day.

In every war, so it seems, soldiers fight a two-front war–one on the battlefield and one at home. The transition from soldier to civilian isn’t an easy one. And given the current state of our housing market and overall economy, many veterans are battling to remain in their homes.

Deployed overseas, foreclosed on back home

Veterans are 50 percent more likely to become homeless compared to all other citizens. Furthermore, according to a recent joint study done by HUD and the VA, “In 2010, homeless veterans accounted for 1 in 150 veterans and about 1 in 9 veterans living in poverty.  It also reported that in January 2010, 76,329 veterans were living in emergency shelter or in an unsheltered place.”

These numbers are staggering and, as HUD blogger April Tey Brown puts it, “unacceptable.”

To fight the war against veteran homelessness, the Obama Administration has created a strategic plan to end homelessness in veterans by 2015. The action plan is concentrated in five key areas: 1) providing affordable housing; 2) provide permanent supportive housing; 3) increase meaningful and sustainable employment; 4) reduce financial vulnerability; and 5) transform the homeless crisis response system. 

HUD has also created the HUD-VASH program in which the VA works with local public housing authorities to provide rental assistance to homeless vets.  

I couldn’t conclude this post any better than Tey Brown did in her own: “Our veterans stood up and fought for our freedom so now it’s our turn to stand up and fight for them.  Because one homeless veteran is one too many.”

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2 Responses to “The fight to end veteran homelessness”

  1. AUL Letting Agents Bristol Says: November 12th, 2011 at 2:02 pm

    Completely agree, I just hope the British government over here also lends a hand to ensure our soldiers working alongsid,e supporting American troops, in the Middle East and Afghanistan also don’t end up homeless… they do a thankless, dangerous task and should be treated as true heroes….

  2. Homeless Veterans, By The Numbers « The Fifth Column Says: November 12th, 2011 at 2:37 pm

    [...] The fight to end veteran homelessness (hsh.com) [...]

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HSH.com's daily blog focuses on the latest developments in the mortgage and housing markets. Our mission is to relate how changes in mortgage rates and housing policy, as well as the latest financial news, impacts consumers, homebuyers and industry insiders alike. Our 30-plus years of experience in the mortgage industry gives us an edge as we break down the latest changes in an ever-changing market.

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Tim Manni is the Managing Editor of HSH.com and the author of their daily blog, which concentrates on the latest developments in the mortgage and housing markets.

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