While we’re remembering those who have served in our military, it’s a good time to acknowledge that many of the homeless we see as we drive through Oregon and Washington are actually veterans. Brett Anderson of Vancouver was one of them. He served in the Air Force, then moved back to Vancouver to be with his wife and daughter, but the marriage didn’t work out and he found himself living on the street. He was not a drug user—until then. He says help from the Veteran’s Administration saved his life. He now works for the V.A as a Peer Support Counselor, in other words, helping veterans who are dealing with exactly what he’s already lived through.
The V.A in Vancouver nominated him as KXL Everyday Hero.
If you are curious as to how many of the people you see living on the streets around Oregon and Washington are veterans, the answer is: a lot.
The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development Annual Homeless Assessment Report found that 580,466 people experienced homelessness in the United States on a single night in 2020, an increase 2.2 percent, from 2019.
Veteran homelessness did not decrease compared with 2019, and homelessness among family households did not decrease for the first time since 2010.