Critiquing Internet Sources on Homeless Veterans

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The issue of the provision of housing for homeless vets is obviously important as one aspect of the US treatment of it’s returning vets. There is a short video with the blog containing an interview by Dr. Gupta with a homeless vet suffering from PTSD. This blog states that the VA campus was built in 1888 specifically to house vets but the resident vets were kicked out at the beginning of the Viet Nam war when the VA apparently decided to lease out the property to various businesses. CNN stated it tried to get the VA to comment on why they took the action they did but the VA refused citing the pending class action law suit by the veterans against it. CNN reports that even the VA figures indicate a high degree of homelessness and related PTSD and substance issues. It also states that President Obama has approved funding for some renovation of facilities but far short of what is needed. In fairness to the VA CNN reports the VA and Department of Housing provide rental subsidies but again far short of what is needed. Finally, CNN pointed out some discrepancy between the VA and their counsel concerning whether the VA is responsible to house homeless vets. I believe this detailed blog is credible, unbiased consistent with CNN’s standards of trying to examine all sides of an issue with as much information as possible Video This video shows an interview conducted by a lady from the Center for Capacity Building of the National Alliance to End Homelessness which I assume is a veterans’ lobby group with an official of the National Alliance itself describing a proposed 5% increase to the President’s 2013 budget with respect to ending veterans’ homelessness. The video states that the additional funding is intended not only to provide additional resources for facilities of temporary housing and health care services but also to ensure greater co-ordination with HUD subsidized rental programs so that independent living is encouraged as soon as possible and beds are freed up for more transitional patients. To me this indicates the government recognizes a legitimate need and wants to move in the right direction. However, I am skeptical this funding is sufficient to meet the VA lofty goal of ending homelessness by 2015. It seems to me that while the nation should certainly be grateful for the veterans’ service and recognize and trear their problems of PTSD and substance abuse, I think the key to ending veteran homelessness is to encourage them to becoming employable in the civilian sector as soon as possible. This could be done by offering free training in occupations where there are manpower shortages and educating employers regarding skills that are transferable from military service to their needs. If a veteran is encouraged to tale pride and become self reliant in civilian as well as military life I believe this will help his PTSD and substance abuse issues and therefore reduce homelessness. I would suggest some programs and funding to facilitate this aspect. Podcast This podcast is a radio report of a Stand Down for homeless vets in Atlanta. This is an annual event where vets can access free goods and services such as food, clothing, medical and legal aid services. The reporter interviewed a few servicemen a VA official expressing their gratitude for the event. It is certainly welcome and needed but there is no critical commentary about its’