Fact: If military service were not a causal factor in veteran homelessness, only 27% of homeless would be veterans!
In a previous post I’ve documented sources for several statistics relevant to homeless veterans. The data in that post has been carefully researched and represent a significant improvement from my earlier attempts. These new statistics include the percent of the total male homeless over 25 that are veterans (43%). Let me present a couple of relevant charts for those of us who are more visually oriented.
The chart at the left shows that veterans make up 11.7% of the total US population 18 or older.
The figures are documented in the document linked above.
Our total population is 301.9 million and 74.6 percent of us are 18 or older, old enough to enlist. That works out to be just over 225 million, male and female.
The veteran count, also documented in the link above, includes both wartime and peace time living veterans.
The chart at the left is the same except only the male populations are charted.
I’ve chosen to use this chart as it more reasonably represents the age and demographics of homeless veterans.
We also get to compare similar demographics between charts. Less than 1% of veterans under 25 are homeless. Less than 0.3% of homeless vets are women.
The total US Male population 25 and older is 93,800,000. The total male veterans 25 and older is 24,910,000.
Male Veterans Make Up 27% Of Male Population Over 25.
43% of Homeless Men Over 25 are Veterans!
The chart at the left shows that male homeless veterans make up 43% of the male homeless over 25. The data is documented in the previous post link above.
If the homeless veterans were representative of the US male population, you would expect that the last two charts would look very similar.
You would expect the male homeless veterans to represent about 27% of the homeless population.
Veterans are grossly overrepresented in the homeless population.
The Department of Veterans Affairs says this about the homeless veterans:
“Although many homeless veterans served in combat in Vietnam and suffer from PTSD, at this time, epidemiological studies do not suggest that there is a causal connection between military service, service in Vietnam, or exposure to combat and homelessness among veterans.”
The VA Claims “No Causal Connection To Service”
OK, I think the charts above put the lie to that statement. If there were no causal relationship, the homeless veterans would total less than 123,000 instead of the 200,000 that are homeless on any given night and the pie charts would look essentially the same. It is my opinion that PTSD and substance abuse problems acquired while in service play a major role in the lives of homeless veterans.
The VA goes out of its way to try to acquit PTSD and combat service as causal effects. Why do that do that? Why even bring it up at all? Could it be that they know that military service is a factor to homeless veterans (big time) but do not want to pay for it? Smoke screens that try to let us believe they have considered those things and found them not a factor? Well…. something is a factor and it is time the VA took its head out of the sand!
I call on our Congress to get to the bottom of this and fix it.
These are men and women that put on uniforms and took up arms in service to our country and so far our country has been too cheap to treat them as the Heroes that they are.
Oldtimer: Click for All Homeless Veteran Posts.