More Women Falling Into Ranks Of Homeless Veterans | Fayetteville, North Carolina | Los Angeles Times
Reporting from Fayetteville, N.C—
As a soldier, Ruth Donaldson was an accomplished ammunition specialist. As a civilian, she became a stressed-out single mother struggling to find a job and raise her child.
After a five-year stint in the Army, Donaldson lost her job at a gas station. She couldn’t pay her rent. She and her 6-year-old son ended up living in a Pontiac Grand Am, hungry, homeless and exhausted.
Women make up a growing number of homeless veterans, a group usually associated with combat-hardened men unable to cope with civilian life. Homelessness among female veterans of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars has increased every year for the last six years — from 150 in 2006 to 1,700 this year — according to the Department of Veterans Affairs.
“It just seemed like it was one thing after the other, and I got so far down it was hard to come out of it,” said Donaldson, who moved last month into a shelter for female veterans in Fayetteville.