10,000 veterans at risk of homelessness

July 26, 2011 at 4:11 PM
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WASHINGTON, July 26 (UPI) -- More than 10,000 Iraq and Afghanistan veterans are homeless or at risk of losing housing, the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs says.

"We're seeing more and more," Richard Thomas, a Volunteers of America case manager at a shelter in Los Angeles, told USA Today. "It's just a bad time for them to return now and get out of the military."

Troops returning from multiple deployments, often suffering mental stress from combat, are coming home to a bad economy, said Pete Dougherty, an adviser on veteran homelessness at the VA.

In May, VA figures show, 10,476 Iraq and Afghanistan veterans -- 13 percent of them women -- were living on the streets, in temporary housing or getting federal rent vouchers.

The VA and the Department of Housing and Urban Development are putting an additional $46.2 million into the voucher program.

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