Young Homeless Veterans Double in the U.S.

While the national total of homeless veterans in the United States is falling, the number of Iraq and Afghanistan veterans who are homeless or at risk of losing their home has more than doubled in the past two years, according to a recent USA Today article. At Volunteers of America of Greater Ohio, we are committed to supporting America’s veterans and bringing that number down to zero. With the help of neighbors like you, we are able to provide life-changing programs and services, which help thousands of our nation’s heroes, get back on their feet.

The Department of Veterans Affairs reported that through the end of September 2012, 26,531 Iraq and Afghanistan veterans were living on the streets, at risk of losing their homes, staying in temporary housing or receiving federal vouchers to pay rent. That’s an increase of 10,500; a number that the VA says could be even higher because it only includes homeless that the department is aware of.

The VA accredits the increase partly to more vigorous efforts to identify and assist this younger generation of veterans, the report said. However, the effects of the two wars on young veterans, such as post-traumatic stress disorder and a slow economic recovery have also played a part in their homelessness.

These figures only look to increase. As the military continues to bring troops home, about 307,000 are likely to leave the military each of the next four years. This all comes after the VA announced its goal to end veteran homelessness by 2015. And while numbers have declined from 76,329 in 2010 to 62,619 in 2012, there is much to be done. More and more young veterans are in need of assistance.

“Making a transition to civilian life — re-adjusting to family, getting a job or education — after multiple combat tours may not come easily and could have delayed consequences,” the article reports.

Volunteers of America programs support Ohio’s homeless veterans

At Volunteers of America, we provide programs all throughout Greater Ohio to help make that assimilation as smooth as possible. Our Employment and Job Training services are designed to help end the cycles of joblessness. We provide job-readiness and training services like resume writing, placement coaching and job searching that move them toward self-sufficiency through long-term employment.

Volunteers of America also offers homeless men and veterans a long-term, structured environment through our Transitional Housing. This vital program provides services like case management, employment counseling, life-skills training and mental health counseling to help our clients achieve independence.

Donate your automobile to Volunteers of America

You can help insure that these programs continue to support your neighbors through a car, truck, boat, motorcycle or RV donation. It’s quick, hassle-free and you could even receive a higher value for your vehicle as a charitable contribution than you would selling it yourself. We’ll take nearly anything with a motor, even if it hasn’t run in years. We also offer free same-day towing. Click here to get started. Every tax-deductible car donation to Volunteers of America helps us continue to support homeless veterans all across Greater Ohio. If you have any questions or would like to arrange towing, please contact the Car Donation & Auction Office at 614-870-7511 before 5 p.m. Monday through Friday and before 2 p.m. on Saturday.