Female Veterans ever larger number of the homeless

An article in the current issue of Affordable Housing Finance highlighted the need for permanent, affordable and supportive housing for female veterans. According to VA studies “estimated 8,000 female vets are homeless in the country.”

The article also notes “It’s one sign that the number of homeless female vets is increasing. Many fear their numbers will continue to grow because more women are serving in the military. There were 201,575 women in active duty in 2006, according to the Department of Defense. It is also expected that many will return home from the war in Iraq with the same problems their male peers have had to deal with over the years.”

To read the full article in Affordable Housing Finance click here. The following is the first section.

Helping Homeless Women Veterans
BY DONNA KIMURA
AFFORDABLE HOUSING FINANCE – JANUARY 2008

Crisis Ministries in Charleston, S.C., sheltered four homeless women veterans in 2006. In 2007, it had served 16 with two months left to go.

It’s one sign that the number of homeless female vets is increasing. Many fear their numbers will continue to grow because more women are serving in the military. There were 201,575 women in active duty in 2006, according to the Department of Defense. It is also expected that many will return home from the war in Iraq with the same problems their male peers have had to deal with over the years.

“We’re trying to get ahead of the curve and be prepared,” said Stacey Denaux, executive director of Crisis Ministries, which recently received a Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) grant and per diem award that will allow the organization to dedicate eight beds to female veterans and enhance its services. The grant is expected to be worth a little more than $90,000.

Denaux doesn’t think she will have any trouble filling the beds at Crisis Ministries.

An estimated 8,000 female vets are homeless in the country. The female veteran population of 1.75 million constitutes about 7 percent of all veterans, and the VA estimates that the percentage will grow to about 10 percent by 2017.

The female veterans that Crisis Ministries has served have ranged in age from 28 to 61.

Including both men and women, approximately 195,827 veterans were homeless on any given night in 2006, an increase of almost 1 percent from 194,254 in 2005, according to the National Alliance to End Homelessness (NAEH) in a newly released report, Vital Mission: Ending Homelessness Among Veterans. Many more, about 495,400, experience homeless over the course of a year. Veterans make up a disproportionate number of the homeless. In 2005, vets made up 11 percent of the adult population but 26 percent of the homeless, said NAEH.

In addition to the factors that can contribute to anyone being homeless, veterans face additional challenges, including prolonged separation from traditional support groups. The study also noted that homeless veterans have high rates of health-related problems and disabilities. Mental-health issues, including post-traumatic stress disorder, are prevalent as well.

Female vets, veterans with disabilities, and unmarried or separated veterans were more likely to experience a severe housing cost burden, according to the report.

To read the full article in Affordable Housing Finance click here.

3 commentscomments closed

  1. Donna
    I have just open an independent living facility in Bethune SC.. And would like to know how I can become a Supported Housing for Veteran Woman….or just a supported Housing for any veterans…You can look over my Website and or call me at 803 424-1287…Thanks Diane

  2. Donna
    I have just open an independent living facility in Bethune SC.. And would like to know how I can become a Supported Housing for Veteran Woman….or just a supported Housing for any veterans…You can look over my Website and or call me at 803 424-1287…Thanks Diane