Thursday, July 9, 2015

Fight to End Homelessness

Individuals who are homeless either for the long-term or periodically experience ‘chronic homelessness.’ When individuals experience long-term homelessness or are in and out of homelessness that is referred to as chronic homelessness. There are about 57,000 (9%) homeless veterans in the United States. Service men and women who have put their lives on the line for us are now without food and shelter.

Veterans often become homeless because of post traumatic stress disorder, physical disabilities, mental anguish, and other unfortunate effects the service has on people. Leaving military life is difficult and leads some vets to addictions like alcohol or other drugs. The transition from active to non-active is scary. The sudden absence of routine for means vets have to learn a new way to live. For some, the transition to civilian life is insurmountable. The structure and routine that they once lived is now gone, along with individuals that understood exactly what they have done.

These outcomes can have an overwhelming effect on veterans, making it harder for them to find civilian jobs and cope with the stress and toll of the military. This phenomenon is due to a multitude of reasons, including different work culture, a lack of understanding the military, and the assumption that vets are not able to do the work because of acquired disabilities.

When preparing to get out of the military, you must go through multiple steps to prepare for civilian life, like resume writing classes. Those that have served have probably more hands on knowledge than any civilian employee, yet they are still being judged because employers do not or not willing to understand.

This must change. 47% of veterans feel unprepared for their transition to civilian jobs. 77% of employers believe they should explain their job experiences in the military more so they can understand better the relevancies for a civilian hire. By hiring veterans a corporation could benefit from the $140 billion per year the United States spends education and training for those that served.

In order to help fight veteran homelessness employers need to give to our country’s veterans more of a chance. Taking the time to understand military resumes more fully would enable employers to create more diverse and deserving staffs. In addition to employers doing their part, veterans should definitely explain how their experiences in the military make them eligible for a particular job. Actions from both sides will give veterans a much deserved chance at getting hired and it being a more fulfilling job!

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