Friday, March 20, 2009

Tent Cities on the Rise

The return of Hooverville: car and tent cities on the rise in San Francisco

By Thea Chroman

A community-funded report originally published on

A Depression-era Hooverville.

San Francisco’s per capita homeless rate has long been the highest in the country. But in the past year, it has shot up 40 percent, by some measures. The increase came as foreclosures put pressure on the rental market, the budget crisis slowed aid, and the job market tightened up.

The face of the homeless population is changing, too. The newly unemployed and the working poor are finding themselves out on the street. And the lines for affordable housing grow ever longer. Some families wait years to get a Section 8 voucher, and while they wait, they sleep in their cars, on the streets, or, in an emergency shelter, that is, if they can get a bed.

In the first chapter of a two-part series on homelessness in California, Thea Chroman introduces us to a family staying at San Francisco’s Providence emergency shelter.

  • Hear reporter Thea Chroman's piece on KALW Radio (2/4/09)

Read Thea Chroman's second piece, "Shanty Towns Rise in the Central Valley as Poverty Rates Climb".

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Homeless Veteran Facts

Homeless Veterans - Pictures vs Facts

May 21, 2007 · 15 Comments

Signs of Homeless Veterans

If you search the net for homeless veterans pictures, you will find a lot. All of these came from Flikr.

Homeless Vet with LaptopThis picture came from: Your Cyber Friend

One sign says 33% of US homeless are Veterans US Government Sources

Another says 45% of US homeless are Veterans Homeless Advocate Sources

They are both close to right. The US Sources reference the total homeless population, including men, women and children. The Homeless Advocate Sources reference the total homeless male population above 18 years of age. The latter one makes more sense. My personal research shows 43% of all male homeless are veterans. Almost half of the men you see are homeless veterans. Something is not right about that, our country needs to do more - a lot more!

Homeless Vet with signThis picture came from Shrued’s photostream.

The sign says Homeless Veteran Very Sick with Liver Damage. Lost Job after 21 years. Please Help. God Bless You.

According to the National Coalition for Homeless Veterans (NCHV) 76% of homeless veterans experience alcohol, drug, or mental health problems

Air Force Vet waiting for IraqThis picture came from francography’s photostream

This Air Force vet says he is 61 years old, served 1959-1963, is homeless. ”Can you help Waiting for Deployment to Iraq

NCHV says 46% of homeless veterans are age 45 or older compared to 20% for homeless non-veterans.

47% are from the Vietnam Era.

Homeless Vet next to monumentThis photo came from Kenny429252

Kenny says this about the photo:

“Cartersville, GA. Came across this guy today and he wanted me to get his photo standing next to this monument. He is an Army Veteran and served in combat during the Panama Canal Invasion. Sad thing is he is homeless. ”

Wikipedia says this: “The military incursion into Panama began on December 20, 1989, at 0100 local time. The operation involved 27,684 U.S. troops and over 300 aircraft. (…)

These were deployed against the 16,000 members of the Panama Defense Forcean0nym0usmuse

NCHV says that from their surveys, 45% of the homeless veterans cite needing help finding a job. Whoever lost this sign is one of them.

There should be no need for our homeless Heroes to have to carry a sign.

We need to do something now!

Click To Find All Homeless Veterans Posts

Categories: Iraq · VA · Vietnam · disabled vets · drugs · homeless · homeless vets · images · pictures · signs · statistics
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Lawsuit: Veterans Affairs Has Failed to Prevent Suicides

Sunday, April 20, 2008

The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs isn't doing enough to prevent suicide and provide adequate medical care for Americans who have served in the armed forces, a class-action lawsuit that goes to trial this week charges.

The lawsuit, filed in July by two nonprofit groups representing military veterans, accuses the agency of inadequately addressing a "rising tide" of mental health problems, especially post-traumatic stress disorder.

But government lawyers say the VA has been devoting more resources to mental health and making suicide prevention a top priority. They also argue that the courts don't have the authority to tell the department how it should operate.

The trial is set to begin Monday in a San Francisco federal court.

An average of 18 military veterans kill themselves each day, and five of them are under VA care when they commit suicide, according to a December e-mail between top VA officials that was filed as part of the federal lawsuit.

"That failure to provide care is manifesting itself in an epidemic of suicides," the veterans groups wrote in court papers filed Thursday.

A study released this week by the RAND Corp. estimates that 300,000 U.S. troops — about 20 percent of those deployed — are suffering from depression or post-traumatic stress from serving in Iraq and Afghanistan.

"We find that the VA has simply not devoted enough resources," said Gordon Erspamer, the lawyer representing the veterans groups. "They don't have enough psychiatrists."

The lawsuit also alleges that the VA takes too long to pay disability claims and that its internal appellate process unconstitutionally denies veterans their right to take their complaints to court.

The groups are asking U.S. District Court Judge Samuel Conti, a World War II U.S. Army veteran, to order the VA to drastically overhaul its system. Conti is hearing the trial without a jury.

"What I would like to see from the VA is that they actually treat patients with respect," said Bob Handy, head of the Veterans United for Truth, one of the groups suing the agency.

Handy, 76, who retired from the Navy in 1970, said he founded the veterans group in 2004 after hearing myriad complaints from veterans about their treatment at the VA when he was a member of the Veterans Caucus of the state Democratic Party. The department acknowledges in court papers that it takes on average about 180 days to decide whether to approve a disability claim.

"I would just like to see the VA do the honorable thing," said Handy, who is expected to testify during the weeklong trial.

Justice Department spokeswoman Carrie Nelson declined comment Friday.

But government lawyers have filed court papers arguing that the courts have no authority to tell the VA how to operate and no business wading into the everyday management of a sprawling medical network that includes 153 medical centers nationwide.

The veterans are asking the judge "to administer the programs of the second largest Cabinet-level agency, a task for which Congress and the executive branch are better suited," government lawyers wrote in court papers.

If the judge ordered an overhaul, he would be responsible for such things as employees workloads, hours of operations, facility locations, the number of medical professionals employed, and "even the decision whether to offer individual or group therapy to patients with" post-traumatic stress, the papers said.

The VA also said it is besieged with an unprecedented number of claims, which have grown from 675,000 in 2001 to 838,000 in 2007. The rise is prompted not from the current war, but from veterans growing older, government lawyers said.

"The largest component of these new claims is the aging veteran population of the Vietnam and Cold War eras," the government filing stated. "As they age, older veterans may lose employment-related health care, prompting them to seek VA benefits for the first time."

Government lawyers in their filings defended its average claims processing time as "reasonable," given that it has to prove the veterans disability was incurred during service time.

They also noted the VA will spend $3.8 billion for fiscal year 2008 on mental health and announced a policy in June that requires all medical centers to have mental health staff available all the time to provide urgent care. They said that "suicide prevention is a singular priority for the VA."

The VA "has hired over 3,700 new mental health professionals in the last two and a half years, bringing the total number of mental health professionals within VA to just under 17,000. This hiring effort continues," they said.

tattered homeless vet's signThis tattered sign comes from
Homeless Veterans

Overview of Homelessness

About one-third of the adult homeless population have served their country in the Armed Services. Current population estimates suggest that about 154,000 veterans (male and female) are homeless on any given night and perhaps twice as many experience homelessness at some point during the course of a year. Many other veterans are considered near homeless or at risk because of their poverty, lack of support from family and friends, and dismal living conditions in cheap hotels or in overcrowded or substandard housing.

Right now, the number of homeless male and female Vietnam era veterans is greater than the number of service persons who died during that war -- and a small number of Desert Storm veterans are also appearing in the homeless population. Atlthough many homeless veterans served in combat in Vietnam and suffer from PTSD, at this time, epidemiologic studies do not suggest that there is a causal connection between military service, service in Vietnam, or exposure to combat and homelessness among veterans. Family background, access to support from family and friends, and various personal characteristics (rather than military service) seem to be the stronger indicators of risk of homelessness.

Almost all homeless veterans are male (about three percent are women), the vast majority are single, and most come from poor, disadvantaged backgrounds. Homeless veterans tend to be older and more educated than homeless non-veterans. But similar to the general population of homeless adult males, about 45% of homeless veterans suffer from mental illness and (with considerable overlap) slightly more than 70% suffer from alcohol or other drug abuse problems. Roughly 56% are African American or Hispanic.

Military Tradition - History Abusing Veterans

Military Tradition - History of Veterans Abused, Discarded

The history of this country’s treatment of its veterans is dismal, starting with the very beginning of the country.

Revolutionary War

Battle of Lexington 1779The Continental Congress of 1776 sought to encourage enlistments and curtail desertions with the nation’s first pension law. It granted half pay for life in cases of loss of limb or other serious disability. But they had no money or authority so they left it to the states with lackluster success. Only about 3,000 Revolutionary War veterans ever drew any pension, and it was limited to those who had been disabled and the payments were quite low.

A new principle for veterans benefits, providing pensions on the basis of need (indigent), was introduced in the 1818 Service Pension Law. The law provided that every person who had served in the War for Independence and was in need of assistance would receive a fixed pension for life. The rate was $20 a month for officers and $8 a month for enlisted men. The problem was that the pensioner had to prove that he was indigent and many never received a penny. In 1858 Congress authorized half-pay pensions to veterans’ widows and to their orphan children until they reached the age of 16, generally paying $4.00 to $10.00 a month depending on rank of the veteran.

Civil War

President Lincoln at Antietam battlefield, October 1862By 1868 New York Governer Reuben E. Fenton (”the soldier’s friend”) remarked that homeless veterans in New York State “numbered by the thousands.”

After the Civil War, veterans organized to seek increased benefits. The Grand Army of the Republic, consisting of Union veterans of the Civil War, was the largest veterans organization emerging from the war.

Until 1890, Civil War pensions were granted only to servicemen discharged because of illness or disability attributable to military service.

The Dependent Pension Act of 1890 substantially broadened the scope of eligibility, providing pensions to veterans incapable of manual labor.

World War I

“The Veteran’s Bureau,” a columnist wrote in 1925, “has probably made wrecks of more men since the war than the war itself took in dead and maimed.”

World War I Veterans Descend on Washington, DCAfter Dec. 24, 1919, all claims and payments arising from disability or death from World War I were regarded as compensation rather than pension. This was reversed in March 1933, when all payments to veterans were again regarded as pensions. It was not until World War II that the distinction between compensation and pension again was used.

The first director of the Veteran’s Bureau was relieved as director within two years and was later sentenced to prison and fined on charges of conspiracy to defraud the government on hospital contracts.

World War I Bonus marchersAfter returning from the Great War, many veterans faced destitution and did all they could to survive. In 1924 Congress passed the World War Adjustment Compensation Act, giving one dollar a day for service and 25 cents more for service overseas. There was a catch: If it was more than $50.00 it was issued in certificate form not payable for 20 years and not over $1500.00.

The veteran’s called these “bonus” certificates and marched on Washington, (see last 2 pictures above), some 15,000 by some estimates. They demanded immediate payments. They camped wherever they could. Some slept in abandoned buildings or erected tents. But many lived in makeshift shacks along the mudflats of the Anacostia River. With no sanitation facilities, living conditions quickly deteriorated in the “shanty town.

The bonus marches revealed serious shortcomings in how America cared for her defenders as they transitioned from military to civilian life. As a result, Congress passed the GI Bill of Rights.

In 1933 Congress enacted the Economy Act which repealed all laws giving benefits for veterans and gave the authority to Roosevelt who radically created new acts that radically reduced veteran’s benefits.

World War II

85 year old WWII veteranIn 1946, the VA had beds for about 82,000 patients but the VA rolls swelled to 15 million in just a few months and the hospitals were virtually all swamped. There were 26,000 non service related cases also on the waiting list. The VA was building new hospitals but had money for only 12,000 more beds. They came too few too late.

Health problems associated with atomic radiation also have received belated attention. The Radiation-Exposed Veterans Compensation Act of 1988 authorized disability compensation for veterans suffering from a number of diseases associated with radiation, 42 years after the exposure! This specifically included veterans claiming exposure to atomic radiation during the detonation of nuclear test devices or during the U.S. occupation of Hiroshima and Nagasaki between September 11, 1945, and July 1, 1946

Korean War

Korean War vet in homeless shelterThe Veterans’ Readjustment Assistance Act of 1952, called the Korean GI Bill, provided unemployment insurance, job placement, home loans and mustering-out benefits similar to those offered World War II veterans. The Korean GI Bill made several changes, however, in education benefits, reducing financial benefits generally and imposing new restrictions. The effect of the changes was that the benefit no longer completely covered the cost of the veteran’s education.

Vietnam War

A major difference of Vietnam-era veterans from those of earlier wars was the larger percentage of disabled. Advances in airlift and medical treatment saved the lives of many who would have died in earlier wars. There were issues of Agent Orange which took many years to address. At first, the only allowable claims related to Agent Orange were for a skin rash, chloracne. The VA waited until 1991 to recognize for claim purposes two other ailments, soft-tissue sarcoma and non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma.

Vientnam veterans make up the preponderance of homeless veterans. 42% of the homeless veterans served in Vietnam. Many more served during the conflict but in non combat areas.

Many of these suffer from PTSD, alcohol and drug related illnesses that have not been properly addressed by the VA. The VA still claims that PTSD has no relationship to military service.

Gulf War

Gulf War Vet

Gulf War veterans are among the new faces of homeless veterans.






Homeless Gulf War Vet

Homeless Gulf War Veteran.




Afganistan and Iraq

News Headline: New York– Americans were dismayed to learn that soldiers wounded in Afgahanistan and Iraq — “fallen heroes” were being warehoused in Building 18, a rat-and roach infested satellite of the Armu’s Walter Reed Medical Center.

Homeless Iraq Veteran

Left, Iraq War veteran.

In addition, injured veterans are going bankrupt and losing their homes because the Veterans Administration (V.A.) holds up their benefit checks for years on end.

The men and women who fight for our country deserve better.

Is this any way to

“support our troops?”


Note: Some of the history information and early pictures came from the VA History website, later pictures came from recent posts and news articles.

For All Homeless Veterans Articles


12 responses so far ↓

  • dbeesh - Patriot Guard Riders // July 17, 2007 at 9:48 am

    It is a blasted shame that a soldier who gave his best or his life only gets a paltry retirement while politicians in D.C. after one year of sitting on their ass will get a life long pension of up to $15K a month. Put a gun in their hands and plop them in a foxhole or in a burned out building for an hour and see if they make it.
    The Patriot Guard Riders recognize the importance of our military. They need pay that will support their family while deployed and they need a pension that will help sustain them after service. The death benefits for soldiers are a joke too. $6K and $800/mo until remarried and the kids get a couple hundred each until 18. The spouse of a senator will get the pension after the senator dies and gets his punishment.
    I truly believe that military service is much more honorable than politics. Politicians should be limited to a total of 8 years in office-PERIOD. Being a representative of the people is a SERVICE not a CAREER.

  • August // September 18, 2007 at 10:45 pm

    Maybe veterans are not fighting for this country and are fighting for just rich people who would never serve in the military.

  • JT // October 9, 2007 at 6:32 pm

    I do not know if you want to do anything with this misadventure or not.


  • Greg // November 9, 2007 at 1:28 pm

    With the state of social security and the common man (that would exclude congressmen and senators), does it surprise anyone that those “special” citizens we call veterans get short-changed? Maybe our duly-elected representatives should be required to be veterans and required to be in the social security system? I think official opinions and action would change!

  • Oldtimer // November 9, 2007 at 1:52 pm

    I agree completely. The problem is that there is not much press about homeless veterans, They are grossly underserved by the media.

    Our leaders in Congress and indeed the VA tend to promote expensive projects that make a splash in the media and good press for the Senators and Congressmen but serve only a very small fraction of the homeless.

    Spend a little money to remodel a building to serve maybe 20 homeless veterans in a nearby population of thousands of homeless veterans.

    Money spent, news generated, constituants (voters that is) impressed, drop in the bucket for our homeless heroes.


  • pam // December 9, 2007 at 1:09 pm

    hi i am a aoman vet . i met a homelss vet at the houston va hospital. he told me that he moved around alot he definitely had mental problems. i worrywhere he will go next. my husband is a vet too i thinks ir it were no us being married he would have ended up homeless merry christmas to all vets.

    And Merry Christmas to you and your husband as well, and all the others you love. Thank you for your service to our country!


  • Dennis Thorp // January 5, 2008 at 4:41 pm

    As a member of The Sons of the American Revolution,with a strong and proud military family,I feel Our government has been playing games with our veterans ever since the Oneida Indian Nation fought in the Revolutionary War. They were among our first American Solders and took up arms against the British to help our nation earn its independence.after our Revolution, Our new government used seized British land to compensate our veterans,and the Oneida veterans, were stripped of much of their original territory,by taking 10 million acres of land away from them. Look how they have been treated by our government ever since. The Oneidas are one of the areas largest employer and every time the they to better this area economically, They need to fight State and the Federal Government to do so .You know that they have two citizenships,one for being a veteran of the Revolutionary war ,and one from their mothers blood. I am not speaking for the Oneidas ,just the injustice that was done to them by an ungrateful country.

    Now our current service members have had Repeated, and extended deployments to war zones have driven a rise in post-traumatic stress among troops. It may be good to support your troops That are serving our interest, but it is better to demand a accountability from those responsible for the lack of their care.the fact that VA hospitals are turning away those most in needs is utterly disgusting.

    Those in charge of VA hospitals need to take responsibility for their lack actions. I think the whole VA system needs a overhaul and very soon. With more and more wounded troops coming home the need is there for both physical and mental healthcare. Our troops only deserve the best of all aspects of care!

    Wake up, America! We do not take care of our own like we should and I think it’s time that we start. Nobody who has ever encountered the VA medical system will be surprised by this. The entire operation is a horror show run mostly by lazy, self-important, arrogant and self satisfied bureaucrats.This kind of treatment has been going on for years and years and years. VA hospitals are in a hopless situations. For those who are closely associated with regular active duty military, this type of treatment is the rule and not the exception Sad, but true.If certain serves cannot be provided for a veteran or military patient then they are suppose to be referred to a civilian facility , and there is suppose to be no cost to the service member or veteran.Many of our own go without and This shouldn’t be a surprise for the VA system when it comes to treating any new service related condition.

    In this situation, the Iraq veteran is in the same boat as the Vietnam veteran was in the 1970’s. At least now, they have a name for it, PTSD,and agent orange has been proven, but the VA doesn’t take it seriously! It’s terrible that our country is ignoring the cries of our vets. It’s no surprise what is happening with Syracuse Veterans Hospital if similar acts are occurring around the country.I’ve have made many attempts in the last four years to talk with Mr Cody, Who is self-important, arrogant, don’t call me I’ll call you,is the head of the VA hospital in Syracuse NY about these conditions and, as stands theres been no dialog.

    I, believe that Mr. Jim Cody should tendered his resignation for the good of our veterans. Dennis Thorp is a native of Frankfort and served as a U.S. Army medic during the Vietnam War. He is co-founder of Agent Orange Victims International. Doctho@roadrunner

  • Dennis Thorp // January 23, 2008 at 7:43 am

    As a member of The Sons of the American Revolution, with a strong and proud military family, I feel Our government has been playing games with our veterans ever since the Oneida Indian Nation fought in the Revolutionary War. They were among our first American Solders and took up arms against the British to help our nation earn its independence after our Revolution. Our new government used land seized from the British to compensate our veterans and the Oneida veterans were stripped of much of their original territory, by having 10 million acres of land taken from them. Look how they have been treated by an ungrateful country.
    Then the Civil War produced thousands of wandering veterans. Frequently addicted to opiates, they were known as tramps,Our first homeless vets, searching for jobs and, in many cases, literally still tending their wounds.
    More than a decade after the end of World War I, the Bonus Army descended on Washington - demanding immediate payment on benefits that had been promised to them, but payable years later ,and were routed out of Washington DC by the U.S. Military,led by George Patton. The most publicly and perhaps most painfully,That comes to mind was Vietnam Tens of thousands of war weary veterans, infamously rejected,crazy, or just forgotten by many of their own fellow citizens,elected officials,demonized by the media.

    Presently our current service members have who have had repeated and extended deployments to war zones, have shown a rise in post-traumatic stress and other war-related wounds among troops. While it is good to support your troops that are serving our interest it is better to demand accountability from those responsible for the lack of their care in these injuries. It is utterly disgusting that VA hospitals are turning away those most in need. Those in charge of VA hospitals need to take responsibility for their lack of actions. I believe the whole VA system needs an overhaul and very soon. More and more wounded troops coming home and they need both physical and mental health care.

    Our troops deserve the best of all aspects of care! Wake up, America! We fail to take care of our own as we should and I think it’s time that we start.

    This will surprise nobody who has ever encountered the VA medical system. The entire operation is a horror show mostly run by lazy, self-important, arrogant and self-satisfied bureaucrats. This kind of treatment has been going on for years and years and years. VA hospitals are in hopeless situations. This type of treatment is the rule and not the exception for those who are closely associated with regular active duty military. It’s sad, but true.

    If certain services cannot be provided for a veteran or current military patients then they are suppose to be referred to a civilian facility with no cost to the service member or veterans. Many of our own are going without and this shouldn’t be a surprise for the VA system when it comes to treating any new service related conditions by Ignorring it’ In this situation, the Iraq veteran is in the same boat as the Vietnam veteran in the 1970’s. At least now, they have a name for it,It’s called PTSD, and like Agent Orange has been proven,So well depleted uranium be proven but the VA doesn’t take it seriously tell a very large group of veterans die from their exposure.

    It’s terrible that our country is still ignoring the cries of our vets. It’s no surprise what is happening with the Syracuse Veterans Hospital if similar acts are occurring around the country. I’ve have made many attempts in the last four years to talk with Mr. Cody, the head of the VA hospital in Syracuse NY, about these conditions He is self-important, arrogant, with a “don’t call me I’ll call you” attitude and there has been no dialog. I believe that Mr. Jim Cody should tender his resignation for the good of our veterans.Veterans Preference….Staff the VA with Veterans!

    Dennis Thorp is a native of Frankfort and served as an U.S. Army medic during the Vietnam War. He is co-founder of Agent Orange Victims International.


  • TIRED OF FIGHTING // May 30, 2008 at 2:27 pm

    I got out of the Army 2007 with 13 years in the Army from injuries incured in Afghanistan. I have a wife and three kids all under the age of 8. I had to take a 10 percent disabilty severance $47000.00 after taxes. I currently have 80 percent from VA and the give me monthly (get this) 666 every month. I have lost almost everything I have and cannot work because of my injuries. The VA does not care about you or your family. They lose more paperwork then they recieve. I’m sick of trying to get the VA to do the right thing. I call them every day to find out (well mr hogan no changes have been made in your case). So other words you want me and my family to live on the streets? I’m sick and tired of fighting the war with VA.

  • Debbie Hibbs // June 6, 2008 at 5:20 pm

    My father served for 31 years in the Army. I was that little girl who waved good-bye really not knowing where he was going. I was in 3rd grade. The second time I understood a little better and cried not knowing if he would come home. He came home and as a career soldier we as a family moved all over the world. I am not complaining. My father did what was right for us and the UNITED STATES OF AMERICA. He saw Korea at the age of 17. My question and any help is needed, how in the world can my father survive all this and not survive treatment from the VA Hospital in Syracuse? Father passed away in 2007. He is buried in Arlington. It took me almost one year with hours of research to determine the answer why!! He did not have diabeties, never had a stroke or heart attack, basicially he was in pretty good condition for a man of 76. He did smoke but actually that is all he did “BAD.” He did not drink alcohol, he did not have cancer. I am married to a retired Master Chief I pray to GOD I out live him by one day so he never has to use the VA Hospital. for legal reasons I cant say what I found. But I will say I am fighting for all Vets and to honor my father whom I promised I would never give up for I am an army brat! VA hospitals are death camps as far as I am concerned. They are always figuring out ways to cut the budget on whose expense?OURS! The veterans, the families of veterans, vets to come! They never ever thought beyond Viet-Nam. Now we have soldiers with PTSD killing themselves at a rate of 120 a week! What the hell is wrong here? It is a crisis and the military with the government needs to call it what it is and step up to the plate and admit, we are so money hungry that we dont care about your son or daughter! PTSD is real folks. Hear me in Washington!!! The mind (brain) is a fragile muscle though high tech it is not taught to eye witness events such as killing children, and having to be 100% on guard 24/7. Americans are born and raised to protect and serve. Mothers in this country teach sons to cherish their wife and children. No we dont live in a perfect world or society but we do have a National crisis. My dad was never the same when he came back from Viet-Nam. He suffered, it showed in his actions. PTSD WAS NOT even heard of back then. Just like in 1977 when I suffered from severe depression after my first daughter was born. I really could have taken my own life. I didnt want that or even ask for it,. but I will say it was real! I really believed I was going out of my mind. I had no clue what was happening to me. Did I seek help NO i was ashamed. These men are coming from WAR I was taking care of a baby. Yet, it happened to me. So get a grip Washington and stop funding these crazy projects and put OUR money where it really counts. 120 soldiers a week. I am so ashamed by this and I am sorry for the parents whose children had no clue. I saw the heartache of those parents. But you remember one thing…..its all about cutting the cost of the VA hospitals. I saw your
    interviews and I wanted to scream. Get on the internet and search and search some more. Dont give up for Gods sake dont. You will find out what “WHAT REALLY GOES ON BEHIND THE WALLS OF THE VA HOSPITALS.” I have been doing research for one year! I found what I needed to know. Contact everyone you know. Your local government! Dont sit there a wallow in self pity. Do something empower yourself. You cant argue with facts and I have all mine on paper. I leave you with this message. FOR THOSE WHO FOUGHT FOR IT, FREEDOM HAS A FLAVOR THE PROTECTED WILL NEVER KNOW

  • Shawn Berry // July 6, 2008 at 5:23 am

    You can piss, moan and cry about it. NOTNING! NOTHING will make a differance. It is all about how much it is going to cost the government. That IS the bottom line. Jumping up and down and screeming at the top of your lumgs will only get you a sore back and throat. I don’t know what stage of greef acceptance is but is the ultamate state that we come to rest in as homeless vetrans. We don’t want to fight anymore–just exist and cope the best we can.

  • Cecile // October 22, 2008 at 8:24 pm

    I read these articles with great interest as my now deceased husband was a Vietnam Veteran. Under the article titled Vietnam Veteran, one of the last statements I read was the government still doesn’t recognize PTSD as being service connected. My husband died on June 3, 2006. A little birdie at the local V.A. Regional Office asked me if his death was service connected. I replied I felt so as his disability was 100% due to PTSD. She told me if I could have this listed on his death certificate I could qualify for benefits to help me in the future. Well, after having this done, and one and a half years of government red tape, the V.A. acknowledged PTSD contributed to his death and I thus did benefit from this. He is also the first and only veteran in our area to receive this acknowledgement. Besides the benefits I receive, I feel that I gave him some honor to his name which he didn’t feel while he was alive.

Total US homeless population:

2005 Estimate: Approximately 744,313 people homeless on a single night. This includes 56% in shelters, 44% unsheltered; 59% single adults, 41% in families (98,452 families counted); 23% chronically homeless (171,200 disabled and long term or repeatedly homeless ). The 172,000 chronically homeless use up 50% of the services.

Of the total homeless population, 66 % (491,000) are males; 93% (456,700) of homeless males are 25 or older; 41% (201,000) of the males are employed as compared to 27% (68,300) of females.

Calculated Results:

43% of homeless males 25 and older are veterans. How do I arrive at that value? The number of homeless males 25 and over is 456,700 and the number of homeless male veterans is 194,000. I beleive this is as valid as the counts that make up the data. There are less than 1% veterans under 25 and about 0.3% homeless women veterans.

27% of all males over 25 are veterans but 43% of all homeless males are veterans. There is a disconnect here, the percentages should be about the same. This 27% calculation uses 24,910,000 male veterans 25 and over and 92,823,000 US males 25 and over.

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