It’s hard to believe that summer is almost over. The Forgotten Patriot has started looking toward the future. We have hope and we have dreams. What is our hope and dream? That we can help our homeless veterans get homes.
While it’s hard to know exactly how many veterans in our country are homeless, according to estimates, over 40,000 veterans are homeless on any given night. Out of every 10,000 veterans in the United States, at least 21 were experiencing homelessness and out of all homeless adults on the streets, 11% are veterans.
It’s not just our veterans who could suffer from homelessness. 2% of homeless veterans are actually family units.
The below graph is the estimated number of homeless veterans in the United States in 2020 broken down by state.
Why do we see such high numbers of homelessness amongst our veterans? There are a few reasons; PTSD, social isolation, unemployment, and substance abuse are among the top reasons.
The life of a veteran isn’t easy. At least compared to us civilians. Think about it, we’ve gone through life relatively unaffected by war in the United States, at least directly. We haven’t had to see the destruction of countries and lives that they have. Veterans leave basic training and are shipped off to war zones. They are young men and women who have learned to fight, take orders, and survive.
Once their time in the military is up, they are expected to just flip a switch and become a civilian. They are expected to forget the carnage they have seen and move on with life.
That isn’t quite as easy as the government makes it seem. For some, it’s impossible and the PTSD will plague them for the rest of their lives. Unfortunately, not all veterans have the support system in place to help them.
Research has shown that these factors greatly increase the risk of vets going homeless. In general, veterans have low marriage and high divorce rates; 1 out of 5 live alone. Without proper social support after discharge, the risk of going homeless is extremely high among vets.
But what can we do? A lot really.
We have plans to help those who are on the streets to be more comfortable and to eventually get them homes. But not random homes in random neighborhoods.
No. We want to build veteran specific neighborhoods that will cater to the needs of veterans and create a natural support system for them.
Civilians can not understand what they’ve gone through. We can only do so much without that experience. When your neighbor has gone through what you went through, it’s easier to talk and create a support network.
Pack for Patriots. Our packs will be stuffed with essentials that can help someone survive on the streets. Clothing, shoes, food, water, sleeping bags, tents, and first aid kits. Anything that we can think of that will fit into a pack that could help our homeless veterans survive. The plan is to gather as many packs and supplies as we can to hand out before winter hits.
Veteran neighborhoods. We plan on acquiring plots of lands across the United States to develop into communities for our veterans. We want to build homes and rec centers to help move our veterans into permanent housing.
These are just examples where and what we want to build.
It’s time to help our Forgotten Patriots. They have given so much to the country that it’s unacceptable to leave them out in the cold.