Shelters take many vets of Iraq, Afghan wars
Excerpts from a Boston Globe Article By Anna Badkhen,
As more troops return from deployments, social workers and advocates expect the number of the homeless to increase, flooding the nation’s veterans’ shelters, which are already overwhelmed by homeless veterans from other wars.
No one keeps track of how many of the 750,000 troops who have been deployed to Iraq or Afghanistan since 2001 are homeless.
Peter Dougherty, director of homeless programs for the federal Department of Veterans Affairs, said 300 veterans of these conflicts have asked the agency for help finding shelter in the last 30 months.
“It’s a major problem that’s not going away anytime soon,” said Cheryl Beversdorf, director of the National Coalition for Homeless Veterans in Washington. Beversdorf’s agency has helped 1,200 homeless veterans of the current wars.
This reflects only a fraction of the total number of homeless Iraq and Afghanistan veterans, said Amy Fairweather, who works with Iraq war veterans at Swords to Plowshares, a private organization based in San Francisco that assists veterans. Last year, her agency’s five shelters in California helped 250 such veterans, she said.
Oldtimer”s comment: Read the entire article and find out what is really happening to our returning heroes.