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April 06, 2020

Additional Statistics and Data

  1. The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) states that the nation’s homeless veterans are predominantly male, with roughly 9% being female. The majority are single; live in urban areas; and suffer from mental illness, alcohol and/or substance abuse, or co-occurring disorders. About 11% of the adult homeless population are veterans.

  2. Roughly 45% of all homeless veterans are African American or Hispanic, despite only accounting for 10.4% and 3.4% of the U.S. veteran population, respectively. Nine percent of homeless veterans are women (some with children), representing the fastest growing groups of homeless veterans.
  3. Half of homeless veterans are under 50. Approximately 9% are between the ages of 18 and 30 (compared to 5% of all veterans), and 41% are between the ages of 31 and 50 (compared to 23% of all veterans), making the other half of homeless veterans more vulnerable to COVID-19.

  4. America’s homeless veterans have served in World War II, the Korean War, Cold War, Vietnam War, Grenada, Panama, Lebanon, Persian Gulf War, Afghanistan and Iraq (OEF/OIF), and the military’s anti-drug cultivation efforts in South America. Nearly half of homeless veterans served during the Vietnam era. Two-thirds served our country for at least three years, and one-third were stationed in a war zone.

  5. About 1.4 million other veterans, meanwhile, are considered at risk of homelessness due to poverty, lack of support networks, and dismal living conditions in overcrowded or substandard housing.

  6. According to the VA’s Community Homelessness Assessment Local Education and Networking Groups (CHALENG) survey, four unmet needs of homeless veterans require legal assistance (replacing a lost driver’s license, outstanding warrants and fines, child support arrearages, and foreclosure/evictions), in addition to needed assistance with discharge status upgrade requests, and the establishment of guardianships. Additional top unmet needs for men and women veterans include assistance with credit counseling and expungements, for which a lawyer’s assistance would be beneficial if not necessary.
  7. NAHV Statistics