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Study: Large number of young homeless vets

Oct. 28, 2011 at 10:51 PM

WASHINGTON, Oct. 28 (UPI) -- A disproportionately large number of young U.S. veterans are living on the streets, a federal study shows.

About 13,000 former service members ages 18-30 -- about 5 percent of the nation's veteran population -- were homeless in 2010, a joint study released Friday by the Department of Housing and Urban Development and Department of Veterans Affairs indicated

"These findings are particularly concerning given the anticipated number of new veterans returning from Afghanistan and Iraq," the study says.

VA officials say the findings are due to a poor economy and unprecedented lengthy combat deployments, USA Today reported.

About 20 percent to 30 percent of all homeless veterans have been involved in combat, Peter Dougherty, a senior policy adviser on homelessness at the VA said this year.

The study showed an estimated 145,000 veterans spent at least one night in a homeless shelter or transitional housing in 2010.

Existing federal programs provide veterans with assistance in housing, healthcare, child care provisions and utility payments. A $60 million program is in the works to prevent veterans with families from being homeless.

"We're looking to end homelessness among the men and women who wore our nation's uniform -- not reduce or redefine it -- but end it," HUD Secretary Shaun Donovan said.

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