As soldiers return home, PTSD and homelessness rise

Volunteers of America of Greater Ohio reaches out to local veterans

While the correlation between homelessness and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) was found decades ago, the recent influx of veterans returning from Iraq and Afghanistan has prompted a new surge in cases.

According to a 2009 government report, veterans are twice as likely to become homeless as civilians (approximately 144,841 veterans were homeless in 2012) and are liable to be homeless for six years compared to the average four. Even more disquieting, vets’ time without a home is, on average, over eight times longer than their deployment.

Homelessness is often referred to as a cyclical issue. This is especially true for those who suffer from PTSD, as it makes it difficult to build and maintain relationships while keeping a steady job. The stress from lack of employment and housing can then compound to make it nearly impossible to rebuild a life that existed before.

A report by the Obama administration revealed that the Iraq and Afghanistan veterans returning in waves are even more likely to struggle with PTSD than other veterans as a result of their repeated deployment. The high rate of combat among young veterans as compared with their counterparts of previous eras also plays a part, according to a study in the journal, Administration and Policy in Mental Health and Mental Health Services Research.

The journal also reported that two-thirds of homeless Iraq and Afghanistan vets had PTSD, a rate startlingly higher than past years in which rates were between 8 and 13 percent.

Volunteers of America of Greater Ohio can help, and so can you

The solution to homelessness goes much deeper than a roof and four walls. Volunteers of America provides veterans with a comprehensive support system that not only helps veterans rebuild their lives today, but also offers support for the long haul. Through our mental health treatment program and transitional housing, we help veterans regain independence and dignity.

These programs are made possible through the generosity of people like you. When you donate your car, truck, motorcycle, boat or RV to Volunteers of America, you are giving back to veterans in need in Ohio cities like Cincinnati, Columbus and Cleveland.

We make donating your automobile simple. Just fill out our online form or call (800) 225-0732. We’ll then tow your donated vehicle for free, even if it hasn’t run in years. Please consider donating your unwanted vehicle to Volunteers of America, and help put America’s heroes back on track.