Opinion / Politics / Press Releases / Veterans News

AMAC Action Puts a Focus on Homeless Heroes — America’s Veterans — Amid the COVID-19 Crisis

homelessWASHINGTON, DC, Sep 4 — Here’s a disarming statistic: more than half a million Americans are homeless.  And, nearly 200,000 of them sleep on sidewalks, empty lots or under bridges most nights, anywhere they can find a modicum of shelter.

And, says the Association of Mature American Citizens [AMAC], too many of them are veterans who risked their lives for us, men and women who have served in conflicts going back as far as World War II.

According to the Department of Housing and Urban Development [HUD] more than 40,000 of America’s homeless population are veterans.  Meanwhile, the National Coalition for Homeless Veterans says “about 1.4 million other veterans…are considered at risk of homelessness due to poverty, lack of support networks, and dismal living conditions in overcrowded or substandard housing.”

Bob Carlstrom, president of the association’s advocacy affiliate, AMAC Action, notes that the Veterans Administration does what it can for homeless veterans, but the COVID-19 pandemic has put a strain on its resources.  He says that AMAC has put a priority on efforts to encourage Congress to pass the Homeless Veteran Coronavirus Response Act.

“The bill does not seek to allocate more money.  Instead, it is designed to give the VA an okay to reallocate existing funds to aid homeless vets during this time of crisis.  The good news is that the measure has bi-partisan support.  It was introduced in the Senate by Dan Sullivan (R-AK) and Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ) and companion legislation was also introduced in the House by Representatives Mike Levin (D-CA) and Gus Bilirakis (R-FL),” according to Carlstrom.

Carlstrom explained that the measure would loosen certain regulations and enable the VA to use existing resources to offer homeless veterans the additional assistance they may need, including transportation, communication devices and services, and basic amenities, like clothing, blankets and hygiene items in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic. The law would also allow the VA to work with partner organizations to set up shelters on its properties. Finally, the bill ensures that homeless veterans have access to the VA’s telehealth services.

Meanwhile, the proposed legislation has attracted broad based support.  The CEO of the National Coalition of Homeless Veterans, Kathryn Monet, sent a message exhorting lawmakers to support the bill.  “The coronavirus pandemic has exacerbated the crisis of veteran homelessness that we were already facing, and we must do more to get our nation’s heroes off the streets.  Our legislation takes commonsense steps to facilitate shelters, transitional housing and other services for veterans and their families in the face of public health challenges. We must expand these services as soon as possible.”

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Rik
1 month ago

Living here in Progressively Communist Democratic CaliMexico where we have at least 10 million illegals, where even our State Attorney General “brags” about it, we have more and more evidence of Homeless and especially Homeless Seniors (both men and women) especially living in cars. And with our Jackass Governor closing the gyms, where do these people get to shave and shower? Our fabulous climate allows for these people to survive and we certainly have thousands more than any other state because of it. Many of these people are forced to live so because many jobs are closed down but what’s… Read more »

The Ugly Truth
1 month ago

I’m a Vietnam veteran, and have reservations about the frequent pleadings over the “homeless” just because they wore a uniform in their youth for a few years. Most of today’s homeless street vets served in peace time, or in safe rear echelons if ever assigned to areas of a conflict. Strangely enough most of these people are living the life they choose. Many are too unambitious to work to help themselves. Most are mentally deficient and don’t fit into normal society, and fight being forced into shelters and having decisions made for them. Sadly enough, you can’t help those that… Read more »

JohnH
1 month ago

I support AMAC endeavors to push the Homeless bill. Half million people homeless in nation of 330 million people is a bad ratio. I support efforts to help veterans and others in any way possible to get them back to a better life. Go AMAC action.

LTC S
1 month ago

Homeless is an issue well beyond veterans and is very complicated. There are homeless families, homeless seniors, homeless young people, men, women and children and all races. And we also have a population who live in their car. All these groups have special interest and there are veterans in all of them. So is your intentions to only take care of the veterans and leave the family out in the cold?? Addressing the homeless issue is not as easy as building heated stalls for them to sleep in and providing food for them to eat. Nor as I have found… Read more »

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