Charles Ciccolella,

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CharlesCiccolella,

Chair CSC Group, LLC – Alexandria, VA

National Coalition for Homeless Veterans

1730 M Street NW

Suite 705

Washington, DC 20036

[email protected]

28 August, 2016.

Dear Sir,

RE: HOMELESSVETERANS IN WASHINGTON, D.C.

I am writing to discuss the problems faced by homeless veterans inWashington, D.C. I am a student undertaking a Political Scienceprogram at the Green River College in Auburn. In my communication, Ihope to outline theories and concepts related to the issue as well aspropose possible solutions for your office to consider.

The plight of war heroes has always been among my utmost concerns.Several generations of my family have served in battles such as WorldWar II, the Cold War, Vietnam War, and the Iraq War. Hence, I haveobserved firsthand the debilitating effects of combat as well as thepride of serving one’s nation. Sadly, veterans have a higher chanceof experiencing homelessness when compared to other citizens1.Several reasons can be mentioned to explain this fact. For example,extreme poverty arises due to low livable incomes2.The months and years spent on the battle lines hinder them fromparticipating in profitable ventures. Furthermore, the majority ofpension payments are used to cater for medical bills3.Veterans also lack adequate support networks to help in theirintegration into different communities4.In some instances, the absence of a family setup robs retired troopsof the opportunity to develop human connections. Adjusting to themundane activities of life requires plenty of time. Besides, dismalconditions in substandard or overcrowded housing units compel manyveterans to live on the streets5.Inevitably, the lack of insurance cover prevents former soldiers fromaccessing quality health care. Additionally, extended exposure to warand attrition causes veterans to suffer from post-traumatic stressdisorder (PTSD)6.Moreover, some individuals develop addictions to drugs and othermind-altering substances. The civilian workforce has little room formilitary occupations and skills7.Therefore, veterans are unable to compete for jobs with otherAmericans.

Although former troops comprise of only 8% of the entire population,17% of homeless persons are veterans8.The Department of Veteran Affairs (VA) estimates that over 50,000retired soldiers sleep on the streets each day9.More than half of these individuals are either Hispanic orAfrican-American10.In addition, the majority of homeless and at-risk veterans havedifferent forms of disabilities11.A significant number of retired troops deal with the stigmaassociated with mental illness. Notably, more than 90% of homelessveterans are single males from disadvantaged backgrounds12.Notwithstanding, millions of former soldiers face the imminent riskof descending into homelessness13.Granted, the majority of veterans served during the Korean War andPersian Gulf War14.Such a fact can be explained by the inexistent laws and statutesguarding the rights of discharged troops. Soldiers who served forlonger periods had an increased likelihood of poverty15.The rates of divorce among veterans are also higher than normalAmericans due to the extensive periods spent in different locations.

Indeed, VA has established viable programs that cater to the needs ofdecorated war heroes upon their return from battle. For example, morethan 100,000 veterans receive free health care and other services.Furthermore, some veterans receive regular pension benefits or otherforms of compensation16.Nevertheless, your office can accomplish more to reduce the incidenceof homelessness among veterans. For example, adequate measures needto be implemented to ensure secure housing and mental healthcounseling. Besides, it is critical to cater for the physical needsof former soldiers. Substance abuse care should also be provided tohelp those with addictions. It is my hope that your office willconsider my letter and adopt the recommendations.

Yours faithfully,

Roy Martin.

Bibliography

Disabled Veterans National Foundation. “Veteran HomelessnessFacts.”http://www.dvnf.org/veteran-homelessness-facts/?gclid=CMSK8MfM5M4CFU6dGwodgwsBZg[Accessed August 28, 2016].

National Coalition for Homeless Veterans. “Homeless Veterans.”http://nchv.org/index.php/news/media/background_and_statistics/[Accessed August 28, 2016].

1 Disabled Veterans National Foundation. “Veteran Homelessness Facts.” http://www.dvnf.org/veteran-homelessness-facts/?gclid=CMSK8MfM5M4CFU6dGwodgwsBZg [Accessed August 28, 2016].

2 Ibid.

3 Ibid.

4 Ibid.

5 Ibid.

6 National Coalition for Homeless Veterans. “Homeless Veterans.” http://nchv.org/index.php/news/media/background_and_statistics/ [Accessed August 28, 2016].

7 Ibid.

8 Ibid.

9 Ibid.

10 Ibid.

11 Disabled Veterans National Foundation. “Veteran Homelessness Facts.” http://www.dvnf.org/veteran-homelessness-facts/?gclid=CMSK8MfM5M4CFU6dGwodgwsBZg [Accessed August 28, 2016].

12 Ibid.

13 Ibid.

14 Ibid.

15 Ibid.

16 National Coalition for Homeless Veterans. “Homeless Veterans.” http://nchv.org/index.php/news/media/background_and_statistics/ [Accessed August 28, 2016].

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