Clip File: Female Vets Face Homelessness, Dearth of Services

"...the new faces among America's homeless veterans.

"They're younger than homeless male veterans and more likely to bring children. Their number has doubled in the past decade, and there are an estimated 6,500 homeless female veterans on any given night - about 5 percent of the total homeless veterans population.

"But women-only programs...are few.

"'It is always hard to find a place or resources or help when you are homeless,' said Sen. Patty Murray, a member of the Senate Veterans' Affairs Committee. 'It is almost impossible if you are a woman. Most of the VA facilities cater to men, and you can't take a mom with two little kids and put her in the middle of a homeless center with 30 or 40 male veterans,' said Murray, D-Wash.

"The distressed economy only made things worse....

"Like male veterans, many homeless female veterans face substance abuse and mental health problems. Many also struggle with sexual trauma that occurred in their childhood, in the military, or elsewhere."

The rest of the story: Female Vets Face Homelessness, Dearth of Services by Kimberly Hefling (Associated Press 2009-12-15)

Resources: U.S. Vets
Department of Veterans Affairs
National Alliance to End Homelessness
Iraq and Afghanistan Veteran of America's report on female veterans (pdf)

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