Veteran homelessness ‘an embarrassment’ to our nation: Mission Roll Call CEO

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Veteran homelessness ‘an embarrassment’ to our nation: Mission Roll Call CEO

On any given night, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development estimates that 40,056 veterans are homeless. Nearly 13% of the nation’s homeless are veterans despite making up only 6.2% of the population.

A nonprofit, Mission Roll Call, seeks to end issues that plague veterans across America such as homelessness, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and rocky transitions to civilian life.

Mission Roll Call polls a membership comprised of veterans nationwide to get data that directly reflects veteran opinions on policy issues like homelessness. In their most recent poll, 90.75% of veterans responded “no” to the question, “In your opinion, is enough being done to address veteran homelessness?”

Mission Roll Call CEO, retired Army Lt. Col. Jim Whaley, shared in an interview with Fox News Digital, “We know that there are thousands of veterans homeless right now as we speak.”

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Retired Army Lt. Col. Jim Whaley salutes at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier on Memorial Day last month. (Mission Roll Call)

“On any given night, you could have 40 to 50,000 that are homeless. That is a number that is staggering. It’s embarrassing for countries such as ours, and it needs to be addressed.”

Whaley is also the recipient of medals such as the Legion of Merit, Air Assault Badge, and Humanitarian Service Medal.

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Whaley said he believes that support for military veterans needs to start early on. 

“One of the other challenges with homelessness is that if we start from the beginning, we would realize that 24% of active duty military now, I repeat that, 24%, nearly a quarter of all active duty military have food insecurity issues.”

“Now, that’s not a statistic that MRC came up with. That’s a statistic that comes out of the DoD report. Clearly, we’re not paying active duty military, especially junior enlisted, the necessary salaries that they need to live and thrive. And that’s an embarrassment.”

Homesless

Military veterans arrive for a Stand Down event designed to help veterans who are homeless or housing insecure in Chicago. The semi-annual event connects veterans with services to find them housing. (Scott Olson/Getty Images)

The VA has housed over 46,000 veterans in 2023, but organizations like Mission Roll Call seek to bring attention to those homeless veterans who fall between the cracks of government assistance.

“Even one Veteran experiencing homelessness is a tragedy. We’ve made progress in recent years in tackling this problem, but there’s still a long way to go,” a VA spokesperson shared in a statement to Fox News Digital.

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If you or someone you know is a veteran experiencing homelessness, the National Call Center for Homeless Veterans is available 24/7 at 877-424-3838.

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