Wednesday, June 15, 2011

LA County Says Homeless Decreased, Except For Veterans

In January Los Angeles county conducted a survey of homeless people and said there was
a 3 percent decline. The figure was 51,430 which included 23,359 in the city of Los Angeles.

While that is good news, the bad news is that homelessness among veterans who comprise 18 percent
of all homeless, up from 15 percent in 2009. More veterans over 62 and a rising rate for those
18 to 24 years old returning from Afghanistan and Iraq. And the homeless rate for female
veterans rose 51 percent from 601 in 2009 to 909 in 2011.

Service providers for the homeless said these figures may not be accurate. Andy Bales, president
of downtown's Union Rescue Mission said "This is a best guesstimate based on a partial count
and a very specific definition of homelessness."

According to guidelines set by the U.S. Housing and Urban Development Department homeless
people are defined as those living in emergency shelters and transitional housing. It also includes
those living in places not fit for human habitation, such as sidewalks, cars and abandoned
buildings. This does not count those who are living with family or friends.

So the veteran continues be among the downtrodden and misplaced and forgotten.

This injustice has to end, our country must do the right thing and do it now. Our veterans are
a very important part of our nation and our culture.

Please contact your elected officials, tell them our veterans deserve the best from our country,
we owe them our freedom, and we owe them our thanks, and we owe them the care and help
they so richly deserve.

Jerald Terwilliger
National Chairman
American Cold War Veterans
"We Remember"

---------------- "And so the greatest of American triumphs... became a peculiarly joyless victory. We had won the Cold War, but there would be no parades." -- Robert M. Gates, 1996