By Laura Robledo
Last week, students across the nation discussed ways America should help veterans escape homelessness in our #DoNowVets post. We asked students How can we prevent veterans from being homeless? Whose responsibility is it to help them? Homelessness has become a growing issue in America since the mid-eighties. However, many Americans may be shocked to find that veterans are a part of the growing number of homeless people. The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) estimates that 62,619 veterans are homeless on any particular night. Many other veterans lack a support group and live in overcrowded or poor housing conditions. Additionally, a large proportion of veterans are at risk for homelessness and experience effects of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and substance abuse. Some veterans find it difficult to find employment as their military training is not always transferable to the workforce.
Throughout the week, the majority of students argued that America, particularly the government, needs to come together to help veterans find stable homes and provide them with more support once they return from service.
Below is a recap of the conversation.
Protect our troops
Several students discussed how America as a whole needs to give back and help those who have protected our country.
— Belinda Davis (@lezblaze17) November 15, 2013
— Aaron Stevens (@aaron8894) November 13, 2013
More government involvement
Many students argued that the American government needs to act and create more programs to take care of veterans.
— Jennny /.\ (@Jennifer01Ortiz) November 12, 2013
— Susan Liu (@susansqliu) November 14, 2013
— TaTonia T. (@TaToniaa_) November 17, 2013
— Ezra De Asis (@ezraraquel_) November 18, 2013
Treat everyone equally
Other students argued that we shouldn’t give special help to veterans. America needs to address the problem of homelessness as a whole.
— Ashley Amian (@ashleyafauhs4B) November 14, 2013
— Captain Kirk (@EazyGunna) November 13, 2013
How we can prevent this
Several students proposed specific steps America should follow to help veterans transition back into society.
— Sabrina Chu (@ChuSabrina) November 13, 2013
— Kevin Lee (@leekevin0517) November 13, 2013
— Steve B (@Stevebfauhs4b) November 14, 2013
— Kimberly Young (@iam_kimyoung) November 13, 2013
More PTSD programs
Many students discussed how we need to restore their mental health before anything else.
— Dennis Dea (@DeabagDennis) November 13, 2013
— Matthew R Reynolds (@CRAMMmatthew) November 12, 2013
One student drew attention to what it could feel like to be a struggling veteran in America.
— Dominique Sabir (@DominiqueSabir) November 16, 2013