Number Of Homeless Veterans Rising In Onslow County | Jacksonville , North Carolina | JDNews.com
The Department of Veterans Affairs released a recent draft report that said homelessness among veterans decreased by 12 percent over the past year. Onslow County hasn’t seen those changes.
In fact, the Onslow Homeless Shelter has seen the exact opposite.
“We’ve seen a noticeable increase in veterans,” said Theo McClammy, Executive Director of the Onslow Community Outreach Program.
The Onslow Homeless Shelter served 12 veterans in 2006. That number tripled and then almost doubled again when the shelter served 36 veterans in 2010 and 52 veterans in 2011, according to a press release.
That’s a 333-percent increase in the number of veterans served over the past five years.
Onslow Shelter Director Karin Hudson said they’ve already seen 12 veterans this year, and they’re expecting more.
“I feel that this should be a non-issue,” said Hudson. “But unfortunately it’s a huge issue.”
In addition, in the draft report the VA identified female veterans as the fastest growing segment of the homeless population and said female veterans are at a much higher risk of homelessness than their male counterparts.
Female veterans are almost twice as likely to become homeless than female non-veterans in the United States; and young, female black veterans are at the highest at risk of becoming homeless out of all people in the U.S., according to the report.
Hudson said the main problem for the veterans who find themselves homeless is that “once these people seperate from the military, there’s no hand holding, there’s no ‘Let me do this for you.’”
She said the military helps the veterans transition back to civilian life while they’re still enlisted, but once they get out, it’s up to the individual to take the resources they’ve been given and do something with it.