The wars in Iraq and Afghanistan have been going on for a very long time now. And, other wars like World War II, Vietnam and Korea that happened long before I was born. Veterans come back from these wars and they have a hard time fitting in again to the world we live in and some end up on the streets as homeless veterans. This is a big problem and it's getting bigger as the war goes on. Because so many of the homeless veterans come from poor families to begin with, there are not enough support systems in place for them when they get home.
In case you were wondering about why homeless veterans are such an important topic, 23% of homeless people are veterans according to the National Coalition for Homeless Veterans. They also say that 76% of these veterans have drug, alcohol and mental health problems. This means that most of them cannot help themselves even if they want to because they are having such a hard time. It may seem like a really huge problem and that you can't do enough to help because you're only one person and don't have unlimited money and time. But you're wrong. There are some very cheap, easy things you can do to make a big difference in the life of a homeless veteran and show them your gratitude for their service. Four of these include: -Hygiene kits - These are easy and cheap to assemble. Homeless people don't have what they need to stay clean and assembling hygiene kits with basic items like soap, toothpaste, a toothbrush and shaving items can make a big difference for someone with nowhere to live. Keep them in your glove compartment and give them out as you see homeless people.
-Make sense of your spare change - It's just collecting dust in your house, so why not collect all that spare change and donate it to a veterans' homeless shelter or use it to buy hygiene-kit items?
-Say "hello' - Most homeless people are almost always harmless. They're also lonely and sad and wish someone would notice them. Even if you can't do anything else, a simple "hello" can mean a lot to someone with nothing.
-Last and certainly not least, if you see homeless veterans say "Thank you for your service." To all those that have served and that are currently serving our wonderful country, thank you so much for your service.