Homelessness a threat to veterans returning from Iraq and Afghanistan

| Tue Jun. 27, 2006 9:39 PM EDT

The government estimates that, on any given night, hundreds of military veterans returning from Iraq or Afghanistan are homeless. Some cannot adjust after being in a war zone, some cannot navigate federal red tape, and some simply do not have the money to afford a place to live. The problem is the worst in New York City because of the high cost of housing.

The Veterans Administration provides grants to nonprofit housing organizations that provide about 8,000 beds a night across the nation.

Almost half of the U.S.'s disabled veterans receive $337 a month or less in benefits, which makes matters worse. Only those who are classified as 100% disabled receive $2,393 a month, but that group makes up only 10% of all disabled veterans.

Add to this problem the thousands and thousands of homeless Vietnam veterans who were already in the country. Both groups of veterans suffer from high degrees of posttraumatic stress syndrome, in addition to physical handicaps.

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