Female Veterans Facing Increasing Homelessness

Women and Their Families
Struggle to Find Safe, Housing

Women VeteransOn April 9, 2012, Yahoo News posted a report, “More Women Vets Homeless, But Housing Scarce.”

As Monarch has previously reported, the statistics enumerate problem of homeless female veterans:

  • Veterans make up about 8% of all veterans, or about 1.8 million, compared to just 4% in 1990;
  • The number of homeless female veterans has more than doubled from 1,380 to 3,328 between fiscal year 2006 and fiscal year 2010, according to a December U.S. Government Accountability Office report; and
  • The same report found many female veteran with young children and nearly two-thirds between ages 40 and 59.

But beyond the numbers, this news story includes the personal stories of female veterans who have honorable served our country but not find themselves back home and struggling to find safe, affordable, permanent housing for themselves and often their families.

Chanae Perkins, a 23 year formerly homeless veteran who now lives in transitional housing is quoted saying, “You go from making a certain amount of money while overseas and then coming back and living from paycheck to paycheck,” she said. “It felt kind of demeaning.”

Female veterans struggle financially and to find housing and because of gender specific issues, including sexual assault while in military service, are often more vulnerable to housing.

Quoting from the article, “I think it’s very clear that women veterans in particular lack the services they need,” said Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash.

The good news is the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) shows more focused around both the problem and solutions – including homelessness prevention and working to keep families together. The VA’s budget calls for $300 million in grants and technical assistance that would go to nonprofits helping veterans either stay in their current housing or find alternative housing.