Helping Homeless Veterans

Nef Cortez

By Nef Cortez

Homeless veterans make up close to 10% of the Homeless population.  Although it is a very large number, it has decreased substantially from what it was 7 years before by approximately 40%.  The National Coalition for Homeless Veterans (NCHV)lists  a very good outline of the types of services individuals or groups can provide which have been recognized as being most effective. These programs have seen better than average results with very  positive outcomes.

NCHV recognizes the following as being some of the more effective services, and which are usually provided by community-based organizations.  These are as follows: Support of emergency shelters; Volunteering as mentors, counselors, or legal aides; Raising funds for programs; Volunteering at “Stand Down” programs; Development of Homeless Veteran Burial Programs. You can find a more detailed review of all of these programs on NCHV.org, the website for the National Coalition for Homeless Veterans.

The prevention of Veteran Homelessness  needs to be centered on providing health services, as the majority of homeless veterans “suffer from mental illness, alcohol and/substance abuse, or co-occurring disorders”, according to the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). Research shows that veterans are 50% more likely to become homeless than the general population. Female veterans are two to three times more likely to become homeless than any other group of the general U.S. population.

Local efforts to house the homeless are ongoing and growing.  Along with efforts by the local non-profits, the  1/4 cent sales tax approved by the voters of Los Angeles County is anticipated to fund a much more effective and concerted effort.  Funding, both private and public, is necessary to pay for the work that must be done across all facets of services for there to be positive outcomes and to win the fight against Veteran homelessness.

This article was written by Nef Cortez, a licensed Real Estate Broker, Ca BRE # 00560181 since 1976. He can be reached via e-mail at nefcortez@gmail.com or on his website at www.nefcortez.com. Please feel free to email any questions regarding real estate.