The real surge is the rise in homeless veterans

The rising tide of homeless veterans is increasing daily in New Jersey. This is the real surge that we will all be dealing with for years if not longer regardless of the outcome of the military campaigns in Iraq and Afghanistan. On the front page of today’s Star-Ledger was an article entitled “Homelessness growing among veterans.” The article provides an overview of the growth of homeless veterans in New Jersey. “So far, the number of veterans from Iraq and Afghanistan seeking assistance from VA-affiliated homeless providers is small, about 400. But many troops are still there, fighting.”

It also highlights programs like Hope for Veterans and Veterans Haven. Hopefully the newly approved Section 8 vouchers for homeless veterans will help address this unnecessary and unfortunate predicament.

To read the full article click here. The article states:

Veterans account for 26 percent of the homeless population, a number that alarms public officials, veterans groups and experts who expect the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan to add thousands more who have no shelter.

Even New Jersey, one of the few states in recent years that has tried to address the problem on its own, acknowledges there are not nearly enough resources to deal with what is expected to be a wave of troops with post-traumatic stress disorder and other troubles.

In addition it states:

Social service agencies across Essex County attempted to assess the problem late last month, through the second Essex County Project Homeless Connect Day. Their survey found about 250 homeless people who identified themselves as veterans.

Many of them recently streamed into the skating rink at Branch Brook Park in Newark for a hot meal, medical checkups and meetings with shelters and social service agencies. Most said they had been trying for years to get their lives back on track.

To read the full article click here.