According to figures released by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs and the Department of Housing and Urban Development, the number of homeless veterans declined nearly 12% nationally between January 2010 and January 2011. Given the current economic conditions, HUD secretary Shaun Donovan called the decline “nothing short of extraordinary.” On a statewide level, Veterans consistently represent 10% of all persons in Connecticut’s emergency shelters and transitional housing programs. 330 Veterans were counted on one day alone during CT PIT 2012.
The major contributing factors influencing homelessness among veterans includes Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), depression, and substance abuse. Roughly half of veterans experiencing homelessness have an underlying mental illness, and half have a history with the criminal justice system. Additionally, veterans are more likely to be unsheltered and to experience homelessness for longer periods of time than non-veterans.
For more information on available veterans services in Connecticut:
- A new state portal for Connecticut Veterans designed to address everything from housing to employment offers a comprehensive resource.
- Homeless Assistance Resources of Connecticut, sponsored by federal agencies, offers resources available to Connecticut veterans, including information on shelters, transitional housing, legal services, meals, and support services.
- VA CT The Errera Community Care Center provides a continuum of psychosocial, medical and educational services that range from acute to long-term rehabilitation and includes job training. Services provided include crisis intervention, housing, case management, education/skills training, recreation/creative arts therapy and vocational rehabilitation.