Although veterans make up 8% of the overall population in the United States, according to a recent Department of Housing & Urban Development (HUD) study, 12% of the homeless population are veterans — 16% if you’re counting adults only.
- Veterans are twice as likely as other Americans to become chronically homeless.
- Veterans are more at risk of becoming homeless than non-veterans
- The number of homeless Vietnam-era veterans, male and female, is greater than the number of soldiers who died during the war.
- Primary causes of homelessness among veterans are:
- Lack of income due to limited education and lack of transferable skills from military to civilian life (especially true of younger veterans returning from Iraq and Afghanistan)
- Combat-related physical health issues and disabilities
- Combat-related mental health issues and disabilities
- Substance abuse problems that interfere with job retention
- Weak social networks due to problems adjusting to civilian life
- Lack of services.
According to the United States Census there are approximately 2 million Veterans in California and 2.5% of that number or 50,000 are estimated to reside in Fresno County alone. Between 8-10% of those Veterans are women. A recent survey of Homelessness conducted by the Fresno Madera Continuum of Care identified 338 Homeless Veterans in Fresno and Madera Counties. Gender was not identified. Read the complete report.