Our Marketing Intern, Amanda Grier, wrote this for United Way’s blog. Amanda is studying communications at NC State.
On the way to work I stopped at a red light and saw a homeless man on the corner. He was holding a sign that said “HOMELESS VETERAN” in big letters.
I was suddenly reminded of my hometown Fayetteville, NC. Fayetteville is home to one of the largest army bases in the United States, Fort Bragg. Growing up in Fayetteville I would often see veterans on the streets, homeless, begging for money. This doesn’t happen just in military towns but is a sad sight seen throughout the United States. Many who have fought for our country are now living on her streets.
Did you know according to the Department of Veteran Affairs about one-third of the adult homeless are veterans? About another 1.5 million veterans are at risk of homelessness. An average of 67,000 veterans are homeless every night and double that experience it a year. Only eight percent of the general population can claim veteran status, but nearly one-fifth of the homeless are veterans. Many of the reasons veterans are homeless are for the same reason most Americans are. Including shortages of affordable housing, poverty level income, poor health care, mental illnesses such as post-traumatic stress disorder, substance abuse, and not having a support system.
Homelessness is a big problem in America, even for those who have served and risked their lives for our country. No one deserves to sleep on the streets or go hungry every night. Volunteering to fight poverty can help veterans have a roof over their heads and provide them with food and clothing. How can you volunteer to help? Volunteer at your local Red Cross, food drive, or homeless shelter.
United Way of the Greater Triangle strives to bring awareness to the issue of poverty. They also support many programs that focus on fundraising to provide food, clothing, and shelter for the homeless. United Way stresses that we LIVE UNITED and united we can help make a difference.
Picture courtes of projectfoot.org