By April 1, 2014 0 Comments Read More →

Rate of Suicides and Homelessness Among Veterans Soars

HomelessFeature

Almost 1,900 military veterans have committed suicide in 2014 so far. This is according to an estimate from Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America.

ABC reports that data extrapolated from a 2012 VA report found 22 veterans committed suicide every day in 2009 and 2010.

IAVA set out 1,892 flags on the National Mall last week to commemorate the disturbing figure.

“We are losing too many of our brothers and sisters nationwide. And we’re storming the hill to change history and transform a landscape so that America will truly take care of its own who have shouldered the burdens of war,” IAVA Founder and CEO Paul Rieckhoff said in a statement made to to Business Insider.

Those at highest risk amongst veterans are those who have found themselves homeless after returning stateside.

A government report issued in 2012 documented that the number of US Iraq and Afghanistan war veterans who are homeless or at risk for becoming homeless has been increasing by almost 50% every year for the past several years.

The US Veterans Administration explained that by the end of September 2012, 26,531 veterans were living on the street, at risk of losing their homes, staying in temporary housing or receiving federal vouchers to pay rent. That numbers was up from 10,500 in 2010, demonstrating the startling rate that this problem has been increasing.

The Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), however, estimates that the number is much higher, at 62,619 homeless veterans, with more than twice that number are at risk of homelessness.

About 50% of those homeless veterans are African American. There are tens of thousands of new veterans who are anticipated as new homeless as well. Those veterans from the Afghanistan War are considered particularly at risk because they are typically younger, and have been exposed to the psychological effects of combat more than their Iraqi counterparts. Meanwhile, nearly 1 million veterans recently found themselves facing cuts of government Food Stamp assistance upon returning stateside.

(Article by M.B. David)

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