13%. That is the percentage of homeless Veterans living in the United States, according to the National Coalition for Homeless Veterans (NCHV). Many Veterans are affected by homelessness due to a variety of factors, including PTSD, substance abuse, and unemployment. This can get complicated when you consider the various other underlying factors like race, income inequality, food insecurity, access to education, and so on. Though these challenges present themselves to our Veterans every day, thankfully, there are options to help America’s heroes get back on their feet.
The National Coalition for Homeless Veterans
The NCHV helps homeless Veterans, and it’s important to realize that the nation’s leader in helping homeless Vets is doing more than simply providing a meal. These Veterans have many complex needs. The obvious two are food and shelter, and the NCHV helps with both of these important basic needs. Often overlooked, the ordinary needs the everyday citizen might need assistance with also applies to these Veterans. Here are some of the amazing things this non-profit organization provides:
- Job training and placement assistance to help Veterans find meaningful employment.
- Legal aid and case management.
- Healthcare services.
- Advocating for Veterans and helping federal homeless assistance programs for Veterans, as well as helping integrate employment assistance for housing programs.
Overall, the NCHV doesn’t just talk about helping Veterans, it does so through actions. Since 2010, the organization has helped reduce homelessness in Veterans by half, but there is still much work to be done.
The VA and the National Call Center for Homeless Veterans
Veterans without homes may feel like there aren’t any answers left, but the truth is that there are many resources available. VA homeless programs are available to help give back to those who gave their most to serve our country. The VA is working to help end homelessness in Veteran communities; they also offers plenty of assistance similar to the NCHV:
- Providing homeless Veterans with solutions involving housing, healthcare, job placement and training, and other points of support.
- Outreach to find homeless Veterans and notify them of the resources available to them.
- Commitment to working with a range of non-profit organizations around the country to end homelessness for Vets and collaboration with many other entities, including employers and agencies operating at all levels of the government.
As a nationwide organization, the VA can help Veterans on a larger scale and is operating to eliminate homelessness for those who have served America. The National Call Center for Homeless Veterans is a great place for Veterans who are either suffering from or at risk of suffering from homelessness to contact.
You can reach them at (877) 4AID-VET (877-424-3838). This number is also useful for homeless Veterans planning on visiting a local VA medical center. If access to the Internet or a phone is unavailable, then stopping by is the next best method.
Get Involved in a Homeless Veterans Program Near You
It’s encouraging to find that many larger organizations nationwide are working to end homelessness for Veterans and collaborating with smaller, regional organizations to do so. This is a problem for far too many who have presented the values of honor and bravery. Having a coalition for American Veterans and organizations such as the VA that are working to eliminate this problem is a great step forward, but anyone can get involved if they have the drive to do so.
Creating a coalition for the homeless Veterans in your area may be beyond many of our capabilities, but getting involved is not. The VA Center for Development and Civic Engagement is a great place to start. A quick search can often point you in the right direction for other organizations, such as Stand Down Programs. Volunteering and donating money or goods to those who have helped keep you free is also a great way to fulfill one’s patriotic duty, help homeless Veterans, and work toward accomplishing an end to the problem of Veteran homelessness.