Going into active duty is one of the toughest jobs for any American. Many soldiers come back markedly changed by their experiences, and this complex scenario is one that has given rise to what the Military Times estimates is over 40,000 homeless veterans nationally. Only in the past couple of decades have public policy makers really realized how veterans need to be supported; fortunately, the way that communities come together is gradually changing to enable proper care.
Finding a home
Veterans are not without support services when it comes to property. From first time buyers to refinancing and even cash out refinance, where veterans can use their equity for home improvements or other purchases, the VA loans system offers a myriad of way for veterans to both find homes and also get the best deal out of their financing. Indeed, these preferential rates are helping a new generation of veterans to find the stability they need. CNBC has highlighted that, for many families, the 20% down payment on a property has been a sticking point… not for veterans.
Those less fortunate
Not all veterans are in the right place, financially or mentally, to take advantage of the housing benefits and schemes offered to them. For this section of society, it’s absolutely crucial that something is available to keep them off the streets and with the security of a home. Big changes are afoot in this regard: the Seattle Times reports that Biden’s housing reforms are aiming to tackle the tent villages that have appeared in several major cities. Question marks remain over whether it will be effective – but in the meantime, the community will be there to assist.
Where federal and state authorities lack, the community often steps in. This is the case with homeless veterans, as exemplified in Houston. Community organizers have come together with regularity to help veterans tackle debts and stay in their homes – often the most important step in preventing homelessness. For a community, such costs are often actually quite small – if a few hundred donate even just a little of their spare income, it can make a big difference.
This is the key factor in supporting veterans – a little goes a long way. Veterans deserve a chance to feel safe and secure at home, and this can only be done if everyone works together. Tackling the challenge of veteran homelessness will be made much easier with communities working together.