At least 2,250 veter­ans are home­less: study

The Guardian (Charlottetown) - - CANADA -

The fed­eral gov­ern­ment has — for per­haps the first time — taken a stab at es­ti­mat­ing how many of the coun­try’s veter­ans are home­less, but the re­port by Em­ploy­ment and So­cial De­vel­op­ment Canada cau­tions the data is far from com­plete.

The study, dated March 2015 and re­leased to The Cana­dian Press un­der ac­cess to in­for­ma­tion leg­is­la­tion, es­ti­mates 2,250 for­mer sol­diers use shel­ters on reg­u­lar ba­sis, which rep­re­sents about 2.7 per cent of the to­tal home­less pop­u­la­tion that uses tem­po­rary lodg­ing.

The fig­ures come from a data­base which tracks 60 emer­gency shel­ters across the coun­try.

Re­searchers found veter­ans who end up home­less tend to be older than non-veter­ans in the same cir­cum­stances and ex-sol­diers are more prone to so-called episodic home­less­ness — mean­ing they are in­di­vid­u­als with dis­abling con­di­tions who’ve been on and off the street three or more times in one year.

The av­er­age age of home­less veter­ans is 52, com­pared with 37 in the gen­eral pop­u­la­tion and many ex-sol­diers cite al­co­holism, drug ad­dic­tion and men­tal health is­sues as rea­sons for their cir­cum­stances.

The coun­try’s top mil­i­tary com­man­der, Gen. Jonathan Vance, says it’s shock­ing there would be home­less­ness among for­mer mil­i­tary.

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