Our veterans are our heroes. They protected our country by putting their own lives in danger. The possibilities of critical injuries and even death was very real when they found themselves in dangerous and hostile situations. They bore separation from their families for long periods and risked and sacrificed everything for the country and its people they love with all their hearts.
Unfortunately, though, we find that not much is being done to reduce the number of homeless veterans, which is continuously on the rise. Some of these veterans moreover suffer from mental health problems like PTSD and substance abuse. It is not possible to give an exact figure for the number of homeless veterans today, but the fact is that this number is quite high.
Individuals like you and me and communities together can help homeless veterans in various ways.
Anything and everything can be given as donations. Medicines, clothes, food, and blankets can all be donated to special organizations that help homeless veterans. Or you can do this yourself by keeping things outside in front of your home, in a public place where you may have often noticed homeless veterans. Things you want to donate can be kept in cartons, bags, or boxes in your car to be given away to any veterans you might see on your drives.
Money can be donated to charities and organizations which work for the betterment of veterans. You can also provide voluntary help to these organizations in various tasks they undertake, like cooking and serving meals and collecting donated items like warm clothes, jackets, or socks during the winter.
Listen and Talk
Don’t isolate our veterans. If you know and are aware of any homeless veterans in your area, it would be a good idea to simply greet them or have a casual chat with them. Listening to them and their problems will make them happy, and you will also know what they need.
Remember, they need to be appreciated and shown gratitude for what they have sacrificed for you and their country. They will suffer from physical and mental issues if they are left in isolation. Visiting homeless veterans with your kids or pets will also show your love and support for them.
On special occasions like Christmas or Thanksgiving, a home-cooked meal, cake, or simple cookies will make them smile. It will remind them that they are not alone, and people do care.
If you are skilled at something, offer your services to them for free. For example, if you are a doctor – use your knowledge to treat ailments and illnesses. Provide them with transport if they need to visit a clinic or hospital.
Help Them Find A Job
You might know of job vacancies in your neighborhood. Try helping a homeless veteran find a job. Veterans can work as guards, delivery drivers, or at gas stations. Some organizations and businesses specifically look out to hire military personnel and veterans.
Actions speak louder than words. Your smallest gesture can have a huge impact on a homeless veteran’s life. They need all our support and help, and we must do all that we can to provide it to them.