Jewish War Veterans of the United States of America

JWV Demands Better Treatment for Homeless Veterans

Spring 2004

On any given night, almost 300,000 veterans are homeless, and more than half a million are homeless at some point over the course of a year. Although only 2% of homeless veterans are female, they also have the additional burden of dealing with shelters and other programs that turn them away because they may have children. Nicole Goodwin, recently honorably discharged from the U.S. Army after service in Iraq and Germany, and her 1-year old daughter are shunted from agency to agency in New York City, her birthplace, trying to get the help that they both so desperately need. This war veteran and her child must negotiate a system largely unable to cope with the needs of the woman veteran with a child. The Jewish War Veterans of the USA (JWV) demands that there be an increase in services for these men and women who have put their lives on the line to defend our freedoms. These homeless veterans, men and women, have served their country, often in far-away combat zones. Their country should honor their service with adequate programs to integrate them and their dependents back into society with all of the support they may need to overcome homelessness and its often attendant post-traumatic stress disorder and substance abuse. While the VA does have an ongoing service for homeless veterans, it is able to reach only about 100,000 homeless veterans per year. The JWV demands that services for all homeless veterans be increased so that all who need them can be served. It is especially important that services geared to the special needs of woman veterans, especially those with dependent children, be available. To this extent, unused hospital facilities should be made available to the female Veteran. It is unconscionable that those who served are abandoned to a life of homelessness and need after they have given so much to their fellow countrymen. The JWV demands that the VA, local community organizations, and veterans service organizations come together to help those who have borne the burden for us all.

 

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