On any given night in America, there are over 150,000 veterans sleeping in shelters, on the streets, in parks, or in cars. Some estimates have this national tragedy listed as high as 250,000! Is this OK with you??
The California Dept. of Veteran Affairs states proudly that we are home to the highest percentage of Veterans in America, that almost 11% of service men and women make their home here. Sadly, we are also the leader in homeless veterans.
The CHALENG Report, a tool used by the VA to survey for services and needs, posted VA facilities by highest homeless populations, and in 2006 reporting the Los Angeles and Loma Linda Veterans Healthcare Systems ranked Number 1 (21,474 homeless veterans) and Number 2 (8000 homeless veterans) with California leading the states with over 29,000 veterans without a home. California's Dept. of Veteran Affairs suggest the number is almost double the 29,000 and it might more accurate to state that almost 29,000 veterans are homeless just in the greater Los Angeles areas, including San Bernardino and Riverside counties.
The National Coalition for the Homeless research suggest that as many as 400,000 Veterans will experience homelessness during a year , and that over half of these men and women are considered chronically homeless. While veterans represent about 34% of the general population, there are over represented in the homeless population. Over 40% of homeless males are veterans!! And of homeless veterans, 3% of them are women! Again, is this OK with you??
The full reports from these sources are available online at:
and Search "A study on the status of California Homeless Veterans."
While improvements in the methodology of the Survey suggest significant decreases, the facts are still heartbreaking. Results from 2007 show that there are still too many men and women, and their families, who gave us as a nation part of their lives are finding Veterans Alliance of Southern California is dedicated to creating partnerships to provide transitional housing, training and education, and addiction services for our Heroes. Together with the Loma Linda Veterans Healthcare System, and as we expand, other VA systems as well, we intend to double the number of VA supported beds in the region this year alone.
Linda Nunez, co-founder and CEO explains, "It's like the story of the boy on the beach after a storm. A man comes by and spots him picking up starfish washed up on the shore and putting them back into the water so they can live. The man says "What are you doing? It's hopeless. You can't save them all!"
The little boy smiles, pick up another starfish and starts walking to the sea. "I can save this one!" he says as he gently places the starfish back in the life saving waters.
We know this is a daunting task... on that sometimes feels overwhelming and impossible to make a dent, a ripple in the pond. But we can save this one... and this one.. and that one.. with the help of partners, both big and small, deciding that it is time to do more than put a yellow sticker on our cars, and make "Support Our Troops" a real and life changing action. Themselves experiencing periods of homelessness, and a large percentage of those to be considered chronically homeless.
Won't you Save a Starfish today?
Donate to sponsor a room, a bed or personal items to our Nations Heroes today.
Go to our Honor a Hero page to learn how you can make a difference today.