It is heartbreaking to serve our military and veterans who are homeless or approaching homelessness. Our veterans have fought wars they didn't start, broke their bodies in the battle, and some have lost limbs. Many entered the service in hopes of a better life and when there was no more need for their services, they were kicked to the curb without help, hope, or any idea how to pick up the pieces, or at least that is how it can seem at times.
I just got off the phone with one such veteran who is on the verge of homelessness. Her family abandoned her, her husband abandoned her, and now she feels her country has abandoned her. This kind-hearted woman has been struggling her whole life and deserves a place to lay her head that does not have a steering wheel attached.
The biggest disconnect for many older veterans is that there may be resources available, but when you have PTSD caused by years of trauma, the mind can't process all the information. Critical thinking processes struggle with being overwhelmed and so they get stuck in a freeze response that leaves them helpless and unable to take steps toward independence. It's a huge problem and it doesn't have any easy solutions. So many challenges face the veterans who live in poverty and with the rising housing costs, limitations to access to rental properties, and now with the influx of people from other countries, the already limited resources are stretched even more.
If you know a veteran who is struggling with homelessness, please reach out to these agencies and see how they can help.
The first thing to do is call: 877-4(aidvet) 874-424-3838 - 24/7 homeless helpline.
HUD-VASH vouchers @https://www.va.gov/homeless/hud-vash.asp#:~:text=U.S.%20Department%20of%20Housing%20and%20Urban%20Development-VA%20Supportive,and%20their%20families%20find%20and%20sustain%20permanent%20housing.
If you would like to get involved with helping the homeless veteran, listen to this podcast that brings together non-profits with the Veterans Administration:
Borne The Battle a VA podcast explains these resources and where homeless veterans can find resources.
Learn more at: https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/id1171416564