Homeless Female Vets Deserve Shelter as Much as Anyone

female vetA new study has revealed that the number of homeless, female veterans has more than doubled from about 1,300 in 2006 to 3,300 in 2010. The numbers tell a scary reality for women veterans who find themselves in need of some of the most basic things, like shelter, food, and clothing. Many of the female vets who are homeless are middle-aged, divorced, and unemployed single mothers just looking for a way to improve their lives, and the lives of their children.

Veterans Affairs is aware of the growing concern of homeless female vets and has decided to pay closer attention to the issue. However, they say more data is needed to get a clearer picture of what they're really up against. How many homeless women who served our country are out on the streets, exactly?

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As soon as they get their answer, they say they'll be able to better provide for the need. But the fact that they don't have all the info they want is not, thankfully, holding them back from launching an outreach program. Their goal is to end all vet homelessness by 2015, and there are multiple transitional housing opportunities for men and women across the nation.

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I think it's great that the VA has decided to track with closer attention the number, and needs, of homeless female vets because the more detailed information they have, the better they can put a system in place that can efficiently and effectively help women get back on their feet. While I agree that homeless female vets will have different needs than male homeless vets (such as readjusting to motherhood after having been deployed, etc.), I do think it's important that homeless veterans, no matter what their gender, find support from the VA and everyone else.

Even though there are unique challenges that face every vet, as long as the VA, non-profits, and kind citizens do their part to ensure that every person who's served gets the chance at a productive life, we'll be on the right track. No matter gender, race, sexual-orientation, or age, a homeless vet is a homeless vet is a homeless vet who needs our help.

What's your take on homeless vets?

 

Photo via Beverly & Pap/Flickr

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