Our Veterans Should Not Be Homeless


Malakai Lance, Contributor

Have you ever been in your car or walking around a store plaza and you’ve seen a person with a sign that says “Homeless, anything helps”? We have all surely seen a homeless man or woman before, and most of us would think, “oh they probably didn’t care enough about education and dropped out, why should I help them?” Well, you should help because one out of every seven homeless people are veterans who have risked their lives for this country just to come back and have nothing. People who deserve the most are out struggling to get a job and a decent place to stay. This is why we, the people who can spare enough to help those veterans in need, must do something.

Last week I went down to a Target.  As I was walking out of the store I saw a man walking with a dog with a Marines hat on, so I said, “Thank you for your service” as you should if you see a veteran, but he didn’t reply with thank you. He replied with, “Do you have any change to spare?” so I gave him what I had on me. Most people don’t think that there are many homeless veterans, but there are and we need to help them as much as possible.

It is a really sad and scary thing to think about, being alone and having nowhere to go at night, sleeping outside in the cold, slowly starving, just wanting a little nourishment. It sucks and no one should have to go through that. 564,708 homeless were seen in 2016 alone! That’s half a million people in the U.S.A. living on the street. 1/7th of them are Veterans, 80,672 Veterans who have fought for this country on any given night. Most people don’t think that there are many homeless veterans, but there are and we need to help them as much as possible.

The U.S Department of Veterans Affairs has already started the fight for all veterans to be helped in many different states, with their website at WWW.VA.GOV You can use a link to find multiple homeless coordinators in your city alone and partner up with them to help your veterans in need.  Once a homeless Veteran himself, Roberto Alvarez is now a community employment coordinator (CEC) who connects Veterans with VA resources, community support and employment opportunities. People just like Roberto have been helped and are now paying it forward for other veterans, and you can do the same.

There are so many homeless citizens in this day and age, and many of them are such great people. Do the right thing and help a man or woman who saved lives and our country. It means the world to pay it forward, and you would want someone to do the same if you were in their shoes.