The Day After Memorial Day
Yesterday was a day to reflect on soldiers that have died in service to the United States. It is altogether fitting and proper to do this no matter your opinion of the current military policies. How about on the day after Memorial Day or sometime this week we all think about the number of veterans who return to the United States and become homeless? Please take a few minutes to think about those honorably discharged who return to their home soil and lose their housing. In the United States and in Cleveland about one-third of the men who are homeless are veterans. This translates to around 5,000 people in Cuyahoga County who are homeless veterans every year. Studies show that 85% of the homeless veterans living in shelters are honorably discharged. I am not so sure how honorable it is to be discharged to a shelter, but that is for others to decide.
Here are a few things that you could do to demonstrate your respect for veterans who become homeless:
1. Sign up to volunteer at one of the shelters that serve veterans. They need help year round not just around Thanksgiving and Christmas. I might suggest Volunteers of America or 2100 Lakeside Shelter.
2. Write a letter to your local city government asking what they are doing to make sure that no veterans become homeless. Send copies of those to NEOCH and any response you get.
3. Support the advocacy work of the Coalition for the Homeless by signing up as a member or sending a donation to NEOCH--put Veteran's Service Initiative in the memo section.
4. Write a letter to the editor of your local newspaper asking the question for our elected leaders: "Why are we creating more homeless veterans everyday when we never did take care of the Vietnam era vets?" Again, please send a copy to NEOCH.
Posts by Northeast Ohio Coalition for the Homeless staff and Board.