Causes for Veteran Homelessness2024-07-02T15:27:51-04:00

Veteran Homelessness

While there have been significant strides made in helping decrease homelessness among Veterans, it is still an increasing issue. In fact, according to the Annual Homelessness Assessment Report (AHAR), Florida had one of the largest increases in homelessness in 2023. Additionally, from 2022 to 2023, veteran homelessness increased by 7% in the United States. 20,067 Veterans experienced sheltered homelessness, while 15,507 experienced unsheltered homelessness.  

NVHS (National Veterans Homeless Support) has helped hundreds of Veterans find stability and safety, but there are many more to help, and much more to do in our mission. Learn more about how NVHS has been helping to combat veteran homelessness and how you can do your part to help rescue those who have been lost in America. 

Causes for Homelessness Among the Veteran Population

Research is still ongoing about the direct link between homelessness and Veterans, but it has been recorded that Veterans are at a greater risk of homelessness compared to non-veterans. Other significant factors in homelessness in Veterans were mainly correlated to substance use disorders, mental illness, and low income. In addition, those who were discharged for misconduct, most commonly because of drugs or alcoholism, had higher rates of homelessness.

Substance Abuse

Substance abuse is a significant factor in veteran homelessness. The pressures and traumas experienced during service can lead some Veterans to substance use as a coping mechanism or for pain management. In fact, two-thirds of Veterans experience pain. This can lead to regular use of opioids, leading to addiction. Most commonly, Veterans use alcohol, and it is reported that Veterans are more likely to use alcohol compared to non-veterans. Marijuana was the most common illicit drug used, with an increase from Veterans treated at the VHA from 2002-2009 had a 50% increase in cannabis use.

PTSD and Mental Health Issues

7 out of 100 Veterans will suffer from PTSD throughout their lives. Veterans are more likely to suffer from PTSD and other mental health problems, which can hinder their ability to maintain a secure way of life. The consequences of PTSD and other mental health conditions can be far-reaching, impacting not only employment but also personal relationships and overall quality of life. Without adequate mental health support, Veterans may find themselves unable to secure stable housing or employment. Additionally, Veterans suffering from PTSD are more likely to suffer from substance abuse. In fact, 2 out of 10 Veterans with PTSD also suffer from SUD. 

Low Income and Economic Instability

Many veterans struggle to transition into civilian jobs, leading to high unemployment rates and difficulties paying rent due to a lack of affordable housing. According to the Annual Homelessness Assessment Report (AHAR), Central Florida has experienced higher housing costs in 2023, resulting in increased evictions and leaving more people without a place to live. Ultimately, the rising cost of living and lack of affordable housing options make it even harder for veterans to secure and maintain stable housing.

Many factors contribute to a higher likelihood of homelessness in Veterans. Still, as research is ongoing and more services are created to lessen homelessness across the United States of America, NVHS is making strides in eliminating and preventing Veteran Homelessness in Central Florida. 

NVHS’s Mission and Impact

National Veterans Homeless Support is dedicated to eliminating homelessness among Veterans in Central Florida and nationwide. Founded in 2008, NVHS started with street outreach, providing food and encouraging homeless Veterans to enroll in the VA. Today, NVHS focuses on prevention. 

Since its inception, NVHS has significantly reduced veteran homelessness in Brevard County, from 1,800 homeless Veterans in 2008 to less than 200 in 2023—a remarkable 90% reduction. Despite this success, NVHS continues to strive toward housing all homeless Veterans and preventing at-risk Veterans from losing their homes.

How NVHS Continues to Help

Homelessness Prevention

NVHS still reaches out to those already on the streets and serves as a proactive measure to prevent homelessness. This vital component of the program identifies Veterans at risk and provides them with timely support to avert the crisis of homelessness. By offering financial assistance, budget counseling, and crisis intervention, we ensure that Veterans facing economic hardships receive the help they need before they lose their homes. Our approach is not just about providing a temporary fix; it’s about offering sustainable solutions that maintain the dignity and independence of our Veterans, keeping them securely housed within their communities.

Transitional Housing Program

NVHS offers transitional housing for formerly homeless Veterans and their dependents, with a focus on helping them achieve self-sufficiency. The program has a maximum capacity of 17 beds across four properties in Brevard County. During their stay, Veterans receive support in developing individualized plans, including employment assistance, disability claims, and life skills training.

How You Can Help

Homeless Veterans face challenges in securing and maintaining employment without stable housing. NVHS works with Veterans to improve their situation, using their time in transitional housing to regain control of their lives.

Make a difference today by supporting NVHS’s mission. You can help homeless Veterans find stability and self-sufficiency through donations or by volunteering. Together, we can ensure that more Veterans stay off the street by receiving the support they need. 

WFS 2019 Results

March 4th, 2020|Blog, Donations, EVENTS, Search & Rescue|

Last December 24 & 25 we gave out $23,776 in Financial support to help 50 veteran families, including; 21 spouses, and 50 children stay housed! All of these veterans are low income and most payments were for rent, utilities, or rental deposits. 😊 We also brought in 11 homeless veterans [...]

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