On Feb. 10, the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs released the analysis.
According to the research, about 76,000 veterans were homeless on any given night in 2009 and about 136,000 veterans spent at least one night in a shelter during 2009.
Here are some more interesting statistics that shed light on a the severity of the problem in Colorado and across the country.
- More than 3,000 cities and counties reported 75,609 homeless veterans on one night in January 2009; 57 percent of those people were staying in an emergency shelter or transitional housing program while the remaining 43 percent were unsheltered. Veterans represent 12 percent of all homeless people.
- About 1 in every 168 veterans spent at least one night in an emergency shelter or transitional housing program. About 96 percent experienced homelessness alone, while 4 percent were part of a family.
- Sheltered homeless vets are most often individual white men between the ages of 31 and 50 and living with a disability.
- Veterans are 50 percent more likely to become homeless compared to all Americans, and the risk is greater among vets living in poverty and poor minority vets.
- Most veterans who used emergency shelter stayed for only brief periods. One-third stayed in shelter for less than one week; 61 percent used a shelter for less than one month; and 84 percent stayed for less than three months.
- Nearly half of homeless veterans were located in California, Texas, New York and Florida while only 28 percent of all veterans were located in those same four States.
An estimated 1,650 homeless veterans were living in predominantly urban areas around eastern and southern Colorado in 2009, according to Denver VA data.
To read the story I wrote about Denver's veteran homelessness forum, click here:
Forum attempts to better combat veteran homelessness
Veteran Nora Johns was one of the guest speakers at the event, and she told the story of how she became homeless. She was kicked out of her daughter's house a few years ago and was forced to live on the streets until she received some help from the Denver VA.
At the forum, she was presented with a plaque for her willingness to share her story.
On the plaque was a soliloquy titled, "The Veteran".
Here's a copy of it, courtesy of Robb Robichaud, Vietnam veteran and administrative officer of VA homeless and domiciliary services for the Denver VA.
"They come from all corners of America,
sons and daughters of factory workers,
truck drivers, housewives, professionals and farmers.
Veterans are of different age, race, sex, color and creed.
Some are short or tall, others thin or stout.
They are willing to sacrifice their life
to protect our country, fellow citizens and world freedom.
They join the military, some with no training,
hoping that they can in some way make a difference.
Little do they know that each individual’s sacrifice
makes a distinct impact in the preservation
of what our forefathers fought for.
A veteran is one who cries when his fellow soldier dies,
but continues on with the mission assignment.
They heal the wounded … some bury the dead.
There are those who plan the missions
and others who seek out the enemy.
Some must transport them to battle, along with those
who provide support and cover in their journey.
There are Commanders, who must give orders for war,
and Chaplains who pray for them all.
The veteran returns from battle, some injured,
others mentally scarred for life.
All are very humble, matured and not willing to share
the death and destruction they may have witnessed,
there is no need to cause others despair.
Deep inside their hearts the Veterans know
their goal of sacrifice,
was to serve their country proudly and
help bring peace for all that will follow.