Today is Veterans Day, a day to honor the men and women serving in the U.S. armed forces. Sadly, this year’s Veterans Day falls on the same week as the release of a new study showing that veterans not only make up a disproportionate percentage of the homeless population, but also stay homeless for longer. In fact, “on average, veterans were homeless for 5.7 years while others reported that they were homeless for 3.9 years.”
The Center for American Progress has put together this list showing the unfortunate facts behind veterans’ homelessness, illustrating the struggle that the men and women of the armed forces face when they return home:
50 percent: Rate at which veterans are more likely than other Americans to become homeless. The Obama administration has set a goal of ending veteran homelessness by 2015.
About 75,000: Number of veterans who are homeless on any given night, according to estimates from the Veterans Administration.
About 20,000: Number of veterans of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan who were homeless in the past five years according to the Veterans Administration.
5.5 percent: Percentage of homeless vets who fought in Iraq and Afghanistan in the overall homeless population, according to the Veterans Administration.
This Veteran’s Day, spare a though for those vets who served their country and yet still spend the night out on the streets. See here for more numbers illustrating “the challenges that confront our service members and veterans before, during, and after deployments, from combat stress injuries to unemployment.”