I wanted to get some numbers out there as a follow-up to my 1 in 4 post. I realized that one in four doesn’t really mean much when you don’t know how large the one in four population comes out of. The report, from the National Alliance to End Homelessness, “Vital Mission: Ending Homelessness Among Veterans”, tells us that almost 200,000 of the homeless population are veterans.
When looked at from the context of the almost 210 million people that veterans can come from, (United States men and women aged 18 and over), it is only 10 percent of the population, and doesn’t seem to be that alarming. But when taken into the context of the homeless population, which is estimated to be 744,000, having 195,827 of your population coming from one very specific sector of the parent population is as astounding as it is alarming.
The United States spends $622.8 billion on national defense. (This includes $481.4 billion for discretionary spending and $141.7 billion specifically for the war in Iraq. You can download the press release here.)
The United States spends $86.7 billion on Veteran Affairs. (You can download their press release here.)
This is disgusting. It is granted that the cost of care for an active member of the military will be higher. But having fully one quarter of the homeless population being none other than the men and women who fought and lost for our country is appalling.
This. Should. Not. Happen.
This section of the homeless population should never have been and should never be homeless in the first place. There is no reason for it. We can end this epidemic in this country. So why don’t we do it?
Do not let the numbers numb you to the fact that we are rapidly approaching one million human beings homeless in the United States.
One million mothers.
One million fathers.
One million sisters.
One million brothers.
One million children.
In a country with an expendable income in the billions, there is no reason for any of this to be happening.