This Veterans Day, Homes.com wants to thank our veterans for their brave commitment to serving our country but also to take a step back and recognize the harsh reality that is veteran homelessness. According to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s annual assessment report, veterans homelessness has decreased 2.1% from 2018 to 2019. Although the amount of homeless veterans is at an all time low, there is still a lot of work to be done to keep our nation’s heroes off of the streets and in stable, affordable housing.
Veterans make up 11% of the adult homeless population. In January 2019, a “Point-in-Time” estimate found that slightly more than 37,000 veterans were experiencing homelessness. Out of this, more than 14,000 were found living in places not meant for human habitation.
Factors That Contribute to Veterans Homelessness
There are many similarities in the factors that affect veterans homelessness and homelessness in general. In addition to economic hardships, veterans often face invisible wounds from multiple and extended deployments.
This year especially, COVID-19 has undoubtedly hindered the progress of combating veteran homelessness. With the economy and almost every aspect of life being negatively affected, veterans are reaching out for help more than ever.
Read: Veterans Give Military Homeowners Their Best Deployment Advice for advice on dealing with home ownership during extended deployments that could save you in the long-run.
How You Can Make a Difference
No veteran should be without a place to call home. One conversation may be all it takes to help a homeless veteran get back on their feet and give them hope for a better life. Here are some steps you can take to help as well as charitable organizations that accept donations:
- Encourage them to go to the nearest VA medical center: There are trained personnel on sight to assess the needs of each veteran to be able to provide them with VA and community resources.
- Call the National Call Center for Homeless Veterans: This hotline is open for callers 24/7. Encourage them to call, or you can even call yourself. A representative will be on the line and ask questions to gain information about the homeless veteran. They’ll want to know their location, physical description, and if applicable, their contact information. Once this information is received, a trained team member will be dispatched to talk face-to-face with the veteran and discuss ways to help.
- Donate: There are many charitable organizations whose missions are to provide the right services and resources to provide stable housing for homeless veterans. Here we have provided just a short list of some of the top charities in the U.S. according to Volunteers of America:
- Disabled American Veterans (DAV): The DAV promotes the development of supportive housing and necessary services to assist homeless veterans in becoming productive, self-sufficient members of society
- National Coalition for Homeless Veterans (NCHV): The NCHV provides emergency and supportive housing, food, health services, job training and placement assistance, legal aid and case management support for hundreds of thousands of homeless veterans each year.
- U.S. Vets: U.S. Vets is the largest non-profit provider of comprehensive services to homeless and at-risk veterans. Their mission is the successful transition of military veterans and their families through the provision of housing, counseling, career development and comprehensive support.
Our Partners at Veterans United Home Loans
Homes.com partners with Veterans United Home Loans in an effort to help veterans plant roots in affordable, stable housing. In their dedicated mission to help veterans become homeowners, Homes.com is there to help provide support and guide those in need of resources in the right direction. If you’re looking for more information, or know someone in need of help from Veteran’s United, you can visit Homes.com to hear customer testimonials and find the resources you need. For additional help, like homebuying advice for those actively serving or what questions homebuying veterans should ask their Realtors, you can also visit Homes.com’s blog.