Reader voices: A suggestion on homeless veterans

homeless veteran

The other day, a military veteran said he was just out of the service and was homeless. He asked how he could resolve this situation. It started me thinking.

It occurred to me that the government, specifically the Veterans Administration, should make available to all veterans that are homeless, as well as their accompanying immediate family, temporary free housing on inactive military bases in the continental U.S., until they are able to find a job and affordable housing. This is the least we can do for the men and women that have been in the service of the country and are returning to find an unemployment crisis like never before. One could even think that they could receive job training as well to help them transition.

Of course the question is how to pay for this in this period of low government revenue caused by the tax breaks given to the millionaires, the banks, the corporations and Wall Street stock transactions, and by a military budget that takes more than half of all discretionary spending in our federal budget.

The obvious answer is raise the taxes significantly for those mentioned above and reduce the inflated military budget.

Too many of our representatives in Congress don't want to tax the groups above. Given that, it seems to me that since there are only about 200 countries in the world and we have over 750 U.S. military bases spread among these foreign countries, we could close many of these down without losing any defence capability and bring those troops home to bases located here at home. This would be a huge savings that would still pay for the active military we bring home but also pay for the this emergency veteran and family temporary housing program.

Keeping military bases in foreign countries is very expensive. We don't need all 750 or more foreign bases given the technology we now have in order to maintain defense. Close down the redundant bases abroad and give veterans and their families some respect and dignity is what I say.

Photo: Jonathan Greenwald // CC 2.0

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  • Why can't we turn these closed military bases into transitional housing for homeless veterans? They would have a safe, secure place to stay while learning to re-integrate back into society. They would receive the help they need, while attending college, get a degree, start up a business, etc.

    With all of the overseas bases now now closed and the Iraq & Afghanistan downsizing, there will be an even greater need now and in the future. I read somewhere that there are now over 200,000 homeless male veterans & over 8,000 females across the U.S.

    How can I get this done? I am just one person. I am also a female veteran. The company that I have been working for, for the past 15+ years was sold for the third time, this time to our competition. We have been given 90 days. I also have a part time job at a hardware store & going to college full time. I won't be able to pay the bills on part time minimum wage.

    I would love to relocate to a closed military base to help meet the needs of homeless veterans, but I have bad credit. No credit cards but lots of unrelated medical bills (accrued before & during the building of a VA clinic in my town). Do you think the government would take my idea and run with it? No, VA would take one look at my credit and laugh. They would say "You are just looking for free housing and free start up business".

    I'm still going to look into it next week when I go see the doctor at the VA clinic. I am doing my college writing papers all on homeless veterans. Even though I live in a extremely small apartment with one adult son and have a huge rent to pay, I would love to move to a military base, help fix it up and help veterans.

    One of the first comments that I read was that they would have to hire 24/7 armed guards to watch the veterans in case one of the veterans choose to have a beer after work. 9/30/11. I'm sure they would feel grateful to have a job to go. And, the police could be former MP's. Case closed, problem solved. And... that comment was not Ha Ha funny.

    Thanks & God Bless!

    Posted by Female Veteran, 10/30/2011 10:08am (4 years ago)

  • They won't house the homeless veterans because they'd have to hire 24/7 ARMED GUARDS to watch the veterans in case one of the veterans chooses to have a beer after work.

    Posted by August, 09/30/2011 11:49am (4 years ago)

  • After eighteen years service and nothing to show for it, I can feel their pain.

    We give our best years and are discarded with all the other surplus.

    Posted by Mike Greer, 09/29/2011 3:27pm (4 years ago)

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