Tuesday, July 07, 2009

Fun With Statistics: More on Homeless Veterans 
This time the Boston Globe, being led around by the Huffpo/Paul Reikhoff press operation, hits on the 'women homeless vets' angle.

Let's take a look:

The number of female service members who have become homeless after leaving the military has jumped dramatically in recent years, according to new government estimates, presenting the Veterans Administration with a challenge as it struggles to accommodate the hundreds of thousands of returning veterans from Iraq and Afghanistan.

As more women serve in combat zones, the share of female veterans who end up homeless, while still relatively small at an estimated 6,500, has nearly doubled over the last decade, according to the Department of Veterans Affairs.

For younger veterans, it is even more pronounced: One out of every 10 homeless vets under the age of 45 is now a woman, the statistics show.

Well, women make up 9% of homeless veterans under 45. But they make up 15% of the military. So the real story is that women are vastly underrepresented among the ranks of the homeless. But that doesn't make for a sexy, sensational headline that homeless advocacy groups can leverage into increasing funding.

The trend has alarmed top lawmakers and veterans groups, who fear that the federal government - which is already straining to care for new veterans suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder, brain injuries, and other physical ailments - is ill-prepared to deal with the special needs of female veterans who find themselves on the street.

What special needs? I think they'd have the same special needs as male homeless vets. They may be more likely to have children with them, but I don't see anything quantifying that, other than Riekhoff's assertion (though IAVA's backgrounder says that 23% of homeless women in the VA's programs have children. This does not mean that the children are homeless, though.)

Many of them are like Angela Peacock, a former Army sergeant who was diagnosed with PTSD when she returned from Iraq in 2004 and became addicted to pain-killers.

If there are so many thousands of homeless women veterans, why is it the Globe couldn't find anyone except Peacock, who, coincidentally, has already been featured in a documentary, and been the subject of an extensive writeup in the Huffington Post.

Incidentally, Paul Rieckhoff, the director of the nonpartisan group Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America, also keeps a blog on the Huffington Post.

Because that's what "nonpartisans" do. Keep blogs on Huffington Post.

Moreover, most homeless vets... apparently about 130,000 on any given night, if the figures in the story are to be believed, are men over the age of 45. (My own belief is that a large number of these homeless vets are liars).

I'm not pooh-poohing Peacock's experiences. Nor belittling the plight faced by female veterans undergoing a tough time. Just noting that the same people seem to show up in newspapers quite a bit. It's as if IAVA hands out Peacock's phone number with its press releases and backgrounders.

Splash, out


Labels: , , , , , ,

"My own belief is that a large number of these homeless vets are liars"

I have never seen a study on how many "homeless vets" that you see on the side of the freeway are actually "homeless" or "veterans". The community organizers that run such studies always seem to have an angle that leads to more funding from the government. As such, they are not really interested in the truth.

Given the number of famous "vets against the war" who were not actually veterans, it would seem that there is possibility that their numbers are inflated.
Post a Comment

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?

Site Meter

Prev | List | Random | Next
Powered by RingSurf!

Prev | List | Random | Next
Powered by RingSurf!