Veterans among homeless in Utah

Following Veterans Day on Nov. 11, many Americans were mindful of the brave men and women that have served this country during times of war.

Although American citizens are grateful for veterans’ service, some fail to remember them past the holiday named for their honor.

A recent report released about homelessness provides research regarding the living status of this country’s veterans.

The Homelessness Research Institute stated in a report titled, "Vital Mission: Ending Homelessness Among Veterans," that 195,827 veterans are homeless in America on any given night. This number is an increase of .8 percent from the year 2005.

Research also estimates as high as 336,627 veterans were homeless over the course of the year.

Although veterans account for only 11 percent of the U.S. population, they make up 26 percent of the homeless population.

Utah’s numbers showed that on any given night in Utah, 530 veterans are homeless.

Numbers from the report were calculated by the Department of Veteran Affairs and the Census Bureau.

Not only is homelessness an issue among veterans, high housing costs also affect how and where veterans are living.

"Nearly half a million veterans are rent-burdened and paying more than 50 percent of their income to rent," according to the Vital Mission report.

The factors in veteran homelessness were also outlined in the report. Simply the lack of income was a factor for some vets, while others have disabilities, mental health trauma or substance abuse problems.

Weak social bonds also contribute to veteran homelessness.
But the primary contributing factor is housing costs.

Utah is estimated to have 2,122 veterans that are considered rent-burdened due to high costs in housing.

The report tries to offer solutions to the homeless veteran problem. Suggested solutions include having a risk evaluation for veterans during the first 30 days of leave from military service.

The full report on veteran homelessness is available to view online at

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