According to an assessment recently released by the US Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), on a single night in January 2009, 75,609 veterans were homeless with 57 percent of them staying in an emergency shelter or transitional housing program.
The remaining 43 percent were either living on the street, in an abandoned building, or other uninhabitable places.
The Department of Veterans Affairs has put the number of homeless veterans in the United States at about 107,000.
“This report offers a much clearer picture about what it means to be a veteran living on our streets or in our shelters,” HUD Secretary Shaun Donovan said in a statement.
“Understanding the nature and scope of veteran homelessness is critical to meeting President [Barack] Obama’s goal of ending veterans’ homelessness within five years.”
About 20 percent of the 1.6 million veterans of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder.
Figures released in 2010 by the Department of Veterans Affairs show a dramatic increase in suicide rates among veterans aged 18 to 29 years old, due in large part to multiple deployments and the overall stress of combat.