Permanent Housing For Homeless Vets in NYC

My hometown is doing good:
NYC - The Department of Homeless Services reduced the number of veterans living in city shelters by 60 percent from December 2006 to May 2009. In December 2006, city officials created a task force to begin moving homeless veterans into permanent housing.

Helping Veterans - Stand Downs

Stand downs are community events held to offer homeless veterans a safe retreat where they can take care of personal hygiene, get clean clothes, warm meals, medical & dental care and meet other vets or people in the community who are able to help.

There are many going on at all times of the year in communities across the nation so please check for ones in you area and see what you can do to help. It's one day of service to thank those who served for us.

2009 Stand Downs

Stand Downs are organized by the National Coalition for Homeless Veterans. If there aren't any in your community please contact them to see what can be done.

Who Is A Homeless Veteran?

Article by Christine Schanes, J.D., Ph.D. - CHPHP (excerpt)

Used with permission

Who is a homeless veteran? Homeless veterans have one or more of the following characteristics:

• nearly 95% of homeless veterans are male, while 5% are female

• 45% of homeless Veterans have some kind of mental illness

• over 70% of homeless veterans suffer from alcohol or drug abuse

• 47% served in the Vietnam War

• 53% served in World War II, Korean War, Cold War, Grenada, Panama, Lebanon, Operation Enduring Freedom (Afghanistan), Operation Iraqi Freedom, or the military's anti-drug cultivation efforts in South America.

• 67% served in the military for more than three years

• 33% served in a war zone

While it is unfortunate that anyone becomes homeless, veterans are more likely to become homeless than civilians. Why is this? No one knows for sure.

Researchers have found that military service is not a sole factor causing homelessness. Rather, studies suggest that military service can be a factor that can lead to personal experiences that can lead directly to homelessness.

For example, in "A Model of Homelessness Among Male Veterans of the Vietnam War Generation" from The American Journal of Psychiatry, authors, Robert Rosenheck and Alan Fontana pointed out that two military factors, combat exposure and participation in atrocities, contribute to "four post-military variables:

(1) low levels of social support upon returning home,

(2) psychiatric disorders (not including Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD),

(3) substance abuse disorders, and

(4) being unmarried (including separation and divorce)

Thus, the study determines that it is these "four post-military variables" that can directly lead to homelessness for many veterans.

This is the best article I've read for those looking to understand why and how a veteran becomes homeless in America. I highly recommend reading the whole article here. (Huffington Post)

Helping Veterans #3

A central Iowa retailer has announced plans to donate $250,000 so that a group of veterans can fly to Washington, D.C. to see the new World War II memorial.


Casey's CEO Bob Myers said his company believes it has a duty to honor the commitment and sacrifice of 16 million Americans who served during the war and 400,000 who died.

While this isn't specifically about homeless veterans, it is still a notable gesture to veterans in general. For those who have never been to the memorial or would like to see it again, here's a link to a video I did of it while in DC last winter:

Helping Veterans #2

This is great. Many of the homeless vets I've met will got through shoes fast from wear and weather and a good pair of shoes can alleviate pains and add some comfort to an otherwise trying lifestyle.
Homeless veterans roaming the Tucson area wear out their shoes quickly, and replacements are hard to come by when money is scarce.
Enter a group of Oro Valley retirees with a soft spot for those who have served in the armed forces. In less than a week, Julia Zhan and her neighbors collected more than 170 sneakers, boots and sandals for homeless veterans.

This will be a continuing series on people and organizations helping veterans. If you have any suggestions please post in the comments and we'll try to publish them.

Too Many

Although accurate numbers are impossible to come by -- no one keeps national records on homeless veterans -- the VA estimates that 131,000 veterans are homeless on any given night. And approximately twice that many experience homelessness over the course of a year.


Veterans make up 1 in 4 homeless

Yet they are only 11% of the U.S. population.
And homelessness is not just a problem among middle-age and elderly veterans. Younger veterans from Iraq and Afghanistan are trickling into shelters and soup kitchens seeking services, treatment or help with finding a job.
And this may explain part of the reason:
Jobless rate at 11.2% for veterans of Iraq, Afghanistan

Helping Veterans #1

With nearly half million veterans sleeping on the streets and more vets returning from Iraq and Afghanistan finding themselves struggling in a jobless economic recovery it's good to see organizations like this helping out those who have served us so proudly.
Homes For Our Troops
Homes for Our Troops is a national nonprofit, nonpartisan 501c3 that builds specially adapted homes for severely injured veterans at no cost to them. We raise donations of money, land, building materials, and professional labor and coordinate the process of building a new specially adapted home to meet the needs of our severely injured service members.
This will be a continuing series on people and organizations helping veterans. If you have any suggestions please post in the comments and we'll try to publish them.

VA Neglecting Veterans

Disturbing news from the VA:
As vets await checks, VA workers get $24M bonuses

Outside the Veterans Affairs Department, severely wounded veterans have faced financial hardship waiting for their first disability payment. Inside, money has been flowing in the form of $24 million in bonuses.

"Pour" premiere

"Pour" will be playing at the Sonoma Napa Wine Country Film Festival in mid September.
The 23rd Wine Country Film Festival
Dates are September 17th - 27th, 2009
This popular roving festival takes place outdoors in spectacular settings and in select theaters and venues in Napa and Sonoma Valleys, Ca.
The festival presents features, documentaries, shorts and animation in six categories: World Cinema, Latin Cinema, US Cinema, The Arts in Film™ (films about music, dance and the arts,) Cinema of Conscience™ (films of social issues,) and Eco Cinema.