Issue: Though the sad state of affairs for our nation’s veterans has sparked actual action in D.C., there is still a lot of work to be done before we fulfill our obligation to those who fought for our freedom. Any number of homeless veterans living on our streets is too many, and both political parties have tragically allowed soldiers struggling with PTSD, debilitating injuries, substance abuse, depression, and many other consequences of their service to get lost in a tangled web of bureaucracy.
Not all veterans have been treated equally, either, with African-American and Latino veterans making up about 45% of the homeless veteran population, despite only making up 10.4% and 3.4%, respectively, of the entire veteran population.
Proposal: Congress needs to make further investments in and provide better oversight of local services provided by the Veterans Administration, including access to resources for secure housing, meals, health care, mental health counseling, personal development, job training, and job placement assistance. To address the inequity in homelessness, new programs within the VA should also be adopted to provide additional outreach to African-American and Latino veterans.