Local Connection: Homeless Veterans

Local Connection: Homeless Veterans

During this week after Memorial Day, we should remember that so many people who fought for our nation still struggle today.

That was one of the striking aspects of the homeless crisis: that veterans made up such a large proportion of those on the streets.

That was despite there being many established housing, medical and counseling agencies for veterans. The availability of service is why ending veteran homelessness was one of the first goals when government finally acted the crisis.

But in the recently released point-in-time count, it's became clear that that on Oahu, that effort has failed.

Volunteers in the survey found 171 unsheltered veterans in 2014.  This year that number rose to 195. An increase of 24 people —14 percent more in five years.

And it's not like they are hiding. Volunteers identified 63 of those veterans in the downtown area alone.

C'mon gang. We must do better than this – especially for the men and women who served our country in wartime with the promise of lifetime care.

While the politicians insist they've made significant progress, the condition of homeless veterans is a key measure of that progress and proof we have so far to go.

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