Nowadays the issue concerning homelessness is an actual one in our society. Thousands of people in the United States have no stable housing and permanent employment. They live on the streets all the year round and suffer from a great variety of diseases, including sleep deprivation and post-traumatic stress disorder. According to the statistical data, a great number of the homeless population includes war veterans. The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs argues that the nation’s homeless veterans are mainly male, with about five percent females. The results of the survey show that most of them are single who came from urban areas. Moreover, most of them suffer from mental diseases, alcohol and drug abuse, and some co-occurring disorders. It is also known that about 1/3 of the adult homeless population are veterans. The above mentioned data proves the fact that veteran homelessness and unemployment is on the highest level in the USA. Those soldiers who took part in war actions in Afghanistan, Vietnam and Iraq , Lebanon, Afghanistan, World War II, the Korean War and others have ruined their health. Moreover, some of them have lost their civilian jobs due to the prolonged military tours in Vietnam, Afghanistan, Iraq and other scenes of the fighting. Most of them became disabled to fulfill any hard work. They have great problems with finding appropriate jobs that will not damage their ruined health. (National Coalition for Homeless Veterans)
The issue concerning veteran homelessness and unemployment in the USA deserves close attention and requires appropriate solutions. It is clear that the urgent measures should be applied by the U.S. government in order to solve this problem. Veteran homelessness dishonors the state and breaks all moral principles and values of the human society concerning the U.S. veterans, those people who served the state and its citizens at the risk of their lives. My goal in this paper is to back up the above mentioned argument with evidences.
One of the facts that prove the significance of the above mentioned issue is that many people in the United States are trying to solve the problems of homeless war veterans. This fact is connected with the increasing number of war veterans: about 107,000 veterans are homeless and jobless in the USA, while about 1.5 million veterans are at risk of homelessness and poverty. They lack social support and live in dismal conditions. (National Coalition for Homeless Veterans)
This problem attracts special attention of many journalists, sociologists, politicians and others who are not indifferent to the fate of war veterans in the United States. Matthew Tull, PhD tries to solve this problem in his article Homelessness among Our Veterans. He argues that “the primary cause of homelessness” among veterans is closely connected with PTSD which negatively influences the human life. That is why it is necessary to treat veterans for post-traumatic stress disorder or PTSD. In this case, there are different types of treatment but not all the veterans can take the course of this treatment. Mattew Tull offers the following methods to get rid of PTSD: cognitive-behavioral treatment, psychodynamic psychotherapy for reducing the symptoms of the post-traumatic stress disorder and some medications which will help veterans to cope with PTSD. (Tull)
Besides the above mentioned facts, there are some other methods that can help to solve the problem of veteran homelessness in the USA. Jericho Project Veterans Initiative is specially designed to help veterans to survive. Mary Taylor, the Senior Director of Development and a project leader informs the readers of this new project in her article On the Front Line of Ending Veteran Homelessness. She states that this problem is “a national tragedy” and that it is necessary “to find replicable solutions”. In order to reduce veteran homelessness, a number of actions have already been implemented . In 2007, the project officials bought two vacant lots in the Bronx in order to build “brand new supportive housing residences” for the veterans who lost their homes for some reason or another. In 2009, they “launched the Veterans Supportive Apartment Program” due to the joined efforts of two New York Medical Centers. In 2011, they are going to open two Veterans Supportive Housing Residences consisting of 134 apartments. Moreover, they are going provide some necessary cutting-edge services for those veterans who will live in the new housing residences. (Taylor)
One more fact that proves the significance of the issue concerning homeless and jobless veterans is the U.S. President’s desire to stop homelessness in the country. It is known that the U.S. President Obama has already set a goal to end war veteran homelessness by 2014. There are many other Project Veterans Initiatives in the USA which are trying to solve this “national problem” and to put the end to veteran homelessness. In October, 2011, President Obama has signed a bill which guarantees to give $35.5 million to renovate some old buildings donated specifically for war veterans in order to rehab their lives after serving the country. (Slappey)
In addition, it is necessary to mention that some people try to solve this problem differently. Thom Wilborn states in his article VA Seek to End Veterans Homelessness that there is no program which can “meat all the needs of the homeless veterans”. All homeless veterans are ill people who require “rehabilitation, training and health care”. VA Secretary Eric Shinseki has already designed a special 5 year plan that can help to end homelessness among the US veterans. This serious work will combine the joined resources of the U.S. government, the business sector, the veterans’ service organizations and the private sector of the United States. . As this problem is a national shame, all organizations of the country should work together in order to provide effective services for veterans and to prevent homelessness. He states that “85% of veterans who live on the streets are ill and they need food, shelter and clothes”. The average age of the homeless veterans is 50-52. The experts are sure that only joined actions of different organizations can provide good results in this task. (Wilborn)
In conclusion, it is necessary to say that it is our common goal to find the appropriate solutions in order to stop veteran homelessness in the United States. This issue is based on the moral principles of human society, that it why this problem should be solved without delay. The U.S. war veterans deserve better life.
National Coalition for Homeless Veterans. Background & Statistics. 2011. Available from:<http://www.nchv.org/background.cfm>
Taylor, M. On the Front Line of Ending Veteran Homelessness. Global giving. Jericho Project Veteran Initiative. 2011. Available from:<http://www.globalgiving.org>
Tull, M.Homelessness among our Veterans. About.com Guide. July 10, 2008. Available from:http://ptsd.about.com/b/2008/07/10/homelessness-among-our-veterans
Slappey, J. President Obama Signs Bill To Help Homeless Veterans. Quickenloans.com. October 27, 2011. Available from:< http://www.quickenloans.com/blog/president-obama-signs-bill-homeless-veterans>
Wilborn, T.VA Seeks to End Veterans Homelessness. Dav Magazine. Department of Veterans Affairs. January1, 2010