Who we serve
About one-third of the adult homeless population have served their country in the Armed Services. Although impossible to pinpoint, current population estimates suggest that about 131,000 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 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 the number of Desert Storm, Afghanistan, and Iraq era veterans are also appearing in the homeless population in increasing numbers. Although many homeless Veterans served in combat and suffer from PTSD, at this time, epidemiological studies do not suggest that there is a causal connection between military service 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.
Facts about Homeless Veterans
1 out of every 4 homeless men (or 33%) in the United States is a veteran.
47% of homeless veterans are from the Vietnam era, 15% are from the pre-Vietnam era and the remainder are from the post-Vietnam era including such conflicts as Granada, Panama, Lebanon, the Gulf War, the military's anti-drug efforts in South America and the current Afghanistan and Iraq War.
67% served 3 years or more.
89% received honorable discharges.
76% experience alcohol, drug, or mental health problems.
Information found at the National Coalition for Homeless Veterans
TODAY we serve ALL VETERANS by providing the resources necessary for them to live a safe and rich life void of starvation and homelessness.