Just as happened after Vietnam, many who served have ended up homeless or nearly homeless. There is no one answer to why a vet is homeless, but here are some of the reasons:
1. They do not have a college degree and therefore have a difficult time finding a job that pays for a home.
2. They have mental health issues such as bi-polar disorder, depression, and PTSD that keep them in a cycle of not being able to work toward employment.
3. They have had to wait so long for the V.A. to determine their eligibility for benefits that they have become homeless during their wait.
4. They like the freedom homelessness offers them.
Many who find themselves homeless once are unable to completely integrate back into a "normal lifestyle." Without help for their mental health issues, there is no "normal" for them. Many will fall through the cracks in the system and never receive what they have earned for their years of service and combat tours.
If there is a program in your area that works with homeless vets or transitioning vets from homelessness, please think about getting involved.
A medically retired, Iraqi Freedom veteran, Army Chaplain.