In a conference in Hartford today, the federal assistant secretary for veterans affairs discussed homeless veterans.
“We are all dishonored when a veteran sleeps on the same streets that he or she has defended,” Duckworth said, while urging that more be done to help such veterans.
The gathering was organized by the Partnership for Strong Communities. It also included a panel discussion on homeless veterans.
Tammy Duckworth says a growing number of female veterans are becoming homeless, and many of them have children.
“We have never educated our community partners who deal with housing for homeless women and children to ask the question of their clients, ‘Are you a veteran?'” Duckworth said.
Duckworth says the population of homeless veterans is getting younger.
Duckworth described a recent visit to a shelter for homeless veterans in Vermont.
“I came across a young man and I was talking to him, and he and his wife were there and they had two babies,” Duckworth said. “I [asked him] are you looking for a job or are you getting training? He said ‘Oh, no, I am in the Vermont National Guard. I’m getting ready to deploy.'”
Duckworth says 90 percent of homeless veterans were living by themselves, with no family or community support, when they lost their homes.