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Collection

Memorial Day 2022: Solutions Created for U.S. Veterans

Solutions Journalism Network

In the U.S., the final Monday in May is a federal holiday dedicated to mourning citizens who died while serving in the military. While the current iteration of the holiday dates to 1971, versions of Memorial Day can be traced back more than 150 years and over 25 different locations claim to be the originator of the holiday. While Memorial Day provides an important opportunity to stop and honor the fallen, it also serves as a poignant reminder of how we are (or aren't) supporting the veterans who are still with us. Veterans are 7% of the general population, but 13% of the adult homeless population; on any given night, about 40,000 U.S. veterans are currently experiencing homelessness. Additionally, homeless veterans are twice as likely as housed veterans to struggle with mental disorders like PTSD, depression, and addiction.

However, these trends are moving in the right direction - while they are still disproportionately represented among homeless adults, veteran homelessness decreased by 45% between 2009 and 2017. This collection explores the ongoing solutions efforts that have dramatically improved the services offered to veterans and helped them reintegrate successfully into civilian life.