Ways To Help Veterans
Since 2009, veteran homelessness has decreased by 50%—an incredible milestone, but one that still leaves room for the estimated 40,000 veterans that remain homeless each night. In spite of the improvements in the lives of many veterans in recent years, many veterans still face significant difficulties around housing, employment, mental health, and access to health care.
Although most people can agree that veterans deserve our help and support, it can be difficult to know how to best support them in everyday life. Fortunately, helping veterans doesn’t take a ton of effort, money, or time. Here’s how you can make a difference:
- Hire veterans. One of the biggest obstacles that veterans face in finding employment is convincing employers that their military skills are transferable to civilian contexts. If you own a business or work as a hiring manager, one of the biggest ways to help veterans is to make room for them in the workplace.
- Exercise your right to vote. Take the time to educate yourself on current legislation and politicians that advocate for veterans’ rights and support funding for veteran programs.
- Fight mental health stigma. According to the Department of Veterans Affairs, 11-30% of veterans are affected by PTSD. Many veterans are also affected by mental illness such as depression and anxiety. Working to dismantle the stigma around mental illness can help normalize mental health issues and make veterans feel more safe in seeking out treatment.
- Support organizations that support veterans. Local organizations that help veterans meet veterans where they are and give immediate, much-needed assistance. By donating time, money, or other resources, you can directly contribute to efforts to provide help for homeless veterans.
National Veterans Homeless Support seeks to eliminate homelessness among veterans in Central Florida and nationwide. NVHS takes a proactive, intervention-based approach to homelessness by meeting homeless veterans where they are and helping them from there. Through programs like Search and Rescue Outreach, NVHS helps homeless veterans get the supplies they need to survive, connects them with support and resources, and helps them transition off the streets and into temporary or permanent housing. If you’re able, consider supporting our mission by donating or signing on as a volunteer.