Here is a new ministry opportunity for all who are interested in helping homeless women veterans from The Dream Center in Los Angeles, Ca.
Homeless Women Vets ~ You Can Help!
And don’t miss Camille’s amazing story of forgiveness and God’s grace:
STATISTICS: ( Taken from NATIONAL COALITION FOR HOMELESS VETERANS )
Homeless Female Veterans
Homelessness among women veterans is expected to rise as increasing numbers of women in the military reintegrate
into their communities as veterans. Women currently make up 8% of the total veteran population and 14.6%
of the active duty military, increasimg to an estimated 16% by 2035. The number of homeless women veterans
has doubled from 1,380 in FY 2006 to 3,328 in FY 2010. While data systems for the U.S. Department of Veterans
Affairs (VA) and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) do not collect data on the risk
factors contributing to female veteran homelessness, women veterans face unique challenges that increase their
susceptibility to homelessness.
PTSD and MST
Within the homeless population, the frequency of mental illness is three to four times higher than the general population,
with the rate of Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) diagnoses almost doubled.
Nearly 80% of homeless veterans suffer from mental health disorders, drug and/or alcohol abuse, or co-occurring
disorders. PTSD is one of the largest mental health challenges facing returning veterans. From 2004-2008 the
number of veterans seeking help for PTSD in the VA system
increased from 274,000 to 442,000. PTSD and other
mental health disorders lead to difficulties maintaining
productive employment, among other difficulties, greatly
increasing the risk of homelessness.
A study done by Kelly et. al found that women who experience
Military Sexual Trauma (MST) were nine times
more at risk for PTSD. Cases of MST continue to grow,
with one in five women reporting having experienced
MST. While only constituting 14.6% of the military,
women account for 95% of reported sex crime victims. According to a recent Pentagon report, the rate of violent
sexual crimes within the military has increased by 64% since 2006. Fear of reprisal and being ostracized from coworkers
prevents many women from reporting the abuse. Defense Secretary Panetta stated that the Department of
Defense is aware that this is a “very under-reported crime,” with actual incidents of military sexual assault (MSA)
being six times higher than reported. With 3,191 reported MSAs in 2011, the actual number of MSA incidences is
predicted to be nearly 19,000. Because those who experience personal violence, including rape, are 6.5 times more
likely to experience homelessness, women veterans who have experienced MST are at a greater risk for experiencing
homelessness, especially when compounded by PTSD.