Coming Home Homeless: The New Homeless Among Veterans


Returning service members face another challenge: the economy. Unemployment for young veterans is twenty percent, double the national average. That makes the transition back from war even more difficult.

A number of non-profit organizations are mobilizing to help. The Jericho Project is working on the housing shortage, helping veterans get the benefits they're entitled to and helping them find a place to call home. It is currently constructing two veterans residences that will offer permanent housing to veterans from Iraq and Afghanistan.

One of its shelters is already home for Specialist Pagan. He is one of the lucky ones.

"I have an apartment, and it was the first time, especially as a grown man that I've gotten a gift like this," Pagan says. "It was an amazing feeling. I have a place. This is what I call, it's my little home."

Tara Henry, the former chemical weapons specialist whose husband filed for divorce while she was on duty in Iraq, has also found a shelter. She lives in a cubicle at the Borden Avenue Veterans Shelter in Queens. And although she hasn't told her children that she is homeless, her eight-year-old daughter knows something isn't right.

"She took all the money that she had and said, 'Hey Mommy, this'll help you buy a house.' So I guess she knows that it costs."

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