It's a fortuitous coincidence that Veteran's Day takes place during National Homeless Awareness Month. According to the National Coalition for Homeless Veterans, veterans are twice as likely as other Americans to become chronically homeless. In 2014, that meant that between 529,000 and 840,000 veterans were homeless. Many factors contribute to this reality, such as lack of income, combat-related health issues and disabilities, and lack of services.
There are a large number of organizations dedicated to serving veterans in various capacities. To determine whether or not a charity is specifically working to alleviate veteran homelessness, be sure to review their programs. Homes for Our Troops builds accessible homes for severely injured veterans, allowing them to focus on their recovery. The New England Center and Home for Veterans (NECHV) houses approximately 350 veterans and offers an array services to help them successfully reintegrate into independent living.
Some veterans organizations help alleviate homelessness by preventing its occurrence. The Semper Fi Fund (SFF) provides financial assistance to veterans who have fallen behind on their housing payments to keep them out of homelessness. The USO Metropolitan Washington-Baltimore provides emergency housing to military service members for up to 60 days at no cost to the beneficiary, providing military families with the opportunity to regroup and transition back into independent living.
All of the above organizations are serving homeless veterans in exemplary ways. When deciding to give to this cause, or others, be sure to look at the programs and services that a charity provides!
Interested in volunteering with these organizations? Check out our Guide to Volunteering.