More female vets with children homeless

July 6, 2009 at 1:07 PM
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WASHINGTON, July 6 (UPI) -- The number of homeless female U.S. veterans has doubled during the last decade to an estimated 6,500, many of them single mothers, authorities said.

"When people think of homeless vets, they don't think of a Hispanic mother and her kids. The new generation of veterans is made up of far more women," said Paul Rieckhoff, founder of Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America.

Like homeless male vets, female vets face mental trauma related to their military service and have difficulty transitioning into a civilian economy, The Boston Globe reported Monday.

Female vets are less likely to be helped, however, because shelters and intervention programs run by the Department of Veterans Affairs traditionally target male vets, the Globe reported.

The problem should be helped somewhat with $75 million allocated by the

Obama administration to provide permanent housing for an estimated 10,000 male and female vets, VA spokesman Peter Dougherty told the Globe.

"For a woman veteran in particular, this is a way for them to have a place to live and not have to ditch the child while they take care of other needs," Dougherty said.

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