Homelessness is a big problem in the Denver metro area, and unfortunately the people who have defended our rights as a country are also struggling to find homes. Even more disturbing is that our great state of Colorado is leading the nation in the number of homeless veterans. It is reported that this is partially due to the fact that Colorado has legalized medical marijuana, which is known to help with issues such as PTSD, or post traumatic stress disorder, a common problem with individuals returning home from war.
This article from the Denver Post explains more about this problem:
Colorado shows nation’s largest spike in the number of homeless veterans – The Denver Post
While most states saw their homeless veteran populations drop an average of 17 percent in the past year to a total of 39,471, Colorado was one of only eight states going in the opposite direction with increasing numbers, according to the the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s annual report on homelessness, which was released Thursday.
Colorado had the biggest gain of any state with an increase of 231 homeless veterans, a 24 percent rise. Colorado’s homeless veteran population of 1,181 is now nearly as high as the state of New York, which has 1,248 homeless veterans, the HUD report says.
Colorado’s overall homeless population increased by 721, or 13 percent, from 2015 to 2016, the report says. HUD volunteers conducted a statewide survey one night in January and counted 10,555 homeless people. Of those, 7,611 were living in emergency shelters or transitional housing and 2,939 were on the streets.
Between 60 and 70 veterans are entering Colorado each month, but programs for homeless veterans are finding homes for only about 50 a month, said Daniel Warvi, spokesman for the Department of Veterans Affairs.
Read the full post here: Colorado shows nation’s largest spike in the number of homeless veterans – The Denver Post
Another concern is companies who are hesitant to hire veterans because of negative stereotypes. There is also the apprehension of future deployment as well as not understanding their skill set and how it could be utilized. In this clip, Gen. David Petraeus discusses the benefits of hiring veterans, highlighting their leadership skills and teamwork:
It’s always good to see communities coming together to help others, and in Loveland, CO they are doing just that. A new affordable housing area has been built for homeless veterans and their families. There are similar facilities being built all across the state to help alleviate the problem for these individuals who have given so much to our country:
Affordable housing community for homeless veterans opens in Loveland – 7NEWS Denver TheDenverChannel.com
LOVELAND, Colo. – Several veterans and their families were the first to move into a new affordable housing community aimed specifically at helping homeless vets and people who lost their homes to the Hyde Park Fire and the 2013 floods.
The Loveland Housing Authority helped several families move into the new community, The Edge, Friday morning. An official flag-raising ceremony was held to commemorate Veterans Day and the new community.
The community will house 70 families and is located at the site of the old Crystal Rapids Water Park.
“Our nation is experiencing the highest rates of homelessness by veterans ever,” said Loveland Housing Authority Executive Director Sam Betters. “After the 2013 floods, we accelerated our efforts to get this project financed and built as quickly as we could.”
Read the original post here: Affordable housing community for homeless veterans opens in Loveland – 7NEWS Denver TheDenverChannel.com
If you have ever known someone who is homeless, you know how stressful their life must be. Every night, especially in the colder months, is consumed by finding a warm place to crash for the night. I hope that our state can figure out solutions to this problem, because it is only going to get worse as more soldiers come home from their tour of duty and try to adjust to their new life.