Homelessness: Rational Decision Making During Punishing Distress

An estimate published by the National Alliance to End Homelessness says there were approximately 565,000 homeless citizens nation-wide in 2015. According to Utah State University, between 11-14% (62,150-79,100) of those individuals were military veterans. These people are so visible that they eventually become invisible to those passing by. The problem is not only the lack of affordable housing but not being adequately prepared for civilian life.

According to the University of Southern California, School of Social Work, veterans not having a permanent place to call home following their military service is the third largest problem after their transition from the military. First and second were state of mind, or perception of society, and employment. It seems the odds are against veterans. With vacancies declining, rent increasing at double the rate of inflation nationwide. Where are we supposed to go and how do we pay for it? Think about it, how many of us are one, two, or three paychecks shy of being homeless?

Service members are taught to follow orders without question, often without carefully thinking it through. Uncle Sam took care of our every need resulting in our, at times, under-appreciation of our fortuitous situation. Little did many of us fathom, civilian life is a sink or swim world. Considerable debate exists whether or not veterans have the upper hand in society post-military service. Leadership, discipline, strong work ethic and sacrifice are all traits the troops have been familiarized since day one. But flip the coin, and they are struggling to find a place within a community, surrounded by people that do not have their backs, don’t understand the military state of mind and reasoning, and lacking the support they had grown accustomed to. Without help, anyone would feel as though he or she were sinking with cement galoshes around their ankles.

The best way to think of homelessness is by viewing it as rational decision-making during punishing distress. Those without a home are still striving to make a footprint in the world. These people have dreams and ambitions but have added difficulties. It is often challenging to see the homeless as hurting people vs. those who chose drugs and alcohol, violence, and crime. They are often viewed as a nuisance to society. Regardless of circumstance or reasoning, something must be done. Something is being done.

America must move away from the government merely throwing more money at this crisis in hopes of solving it. Instead, more nonprofits, private sectors, plus the government should be working cooperatively to end this epidemic. Veterans Off-Grid is answering the call in a creative, and sustainable, way. No more are we allowing our brothers and sisters who have sacrificed for our freedoms to be punished by the nation they swore their lives to protect. I promise you are not forgotten; you are not alone.

Want to get involved? By donating or volunteering to Veterans Off-Grid, you will be contributing to the improvement of these veteran’s livelihood and morality. Every dollar you donate represents not only patriotism but also a drastic change for a United States Veteran. Give back to those who willingly signed a blank check payable with their lives.