Assistance available for homeless veterans includes disability compensation, discounted health care, vocational rehabilitation services, residential care and compensated work therapy. Other benefits include a pension, education and training, home loans, insurance and employment. Burial benefits are also included. There are many outreach programs whose main goal is to aid homeless or impoverished veterans.
Homelessness and poverty are major risks for war veterans, especially in the United States. One-third of adult homeless men and nearly one-quarter of all homeless adults have served in the armed forces. It is estimated that approximately 200,000 veterans are homeless on any given night and that nearly twice as many veterans experience homelessness in a given year. This prevalence is due in large part to the nature of military service. Many veterans return from serving with severe emotional trauma that makes it difficult to resume their lives back home.
Many veterans who are not currently homeless are at risk of homelessness due to poverty, lack of support from family and friends, or precarious living conditions. Approximately one-half of all homeless veterans suffer from mental illness, and more than two-thirds suffer from alcohol or drug abuse problems. Nearly 40 percent have both psychiatric and substance abuse disorders.