In the United States, the homeless housing crisis is one of the most important problems that we face today. In major cities all over the country, there are small ‘tent cities’ of homeless individuals. These communities are put together by the homeless, often in underserved parts of the city that they’re erected in. They’re looking for a sense of community, and unable to find one in normal circumstances.
Unfortunately, many major cities are cracking down on such communities of people by throwing away their tents and valuables, citing city zoning laws to justify their actions.
Of the homeless population, roughly 11% are United States veterans suffering from a number of different disorders. The most common among them is post-traumatic stress disorder, or PTSD. PTSD is a life-altering issue that will follow a veteran for the rest of their life. Veteran homelessness has improved over the last decade, but it still isn’t where it should be. Thankfully, some communities and their leaders are doing something about it.
In Los Angeles, action is being taken against homelessness, particularly within veteran communities. The organization running the operation is the nonprofit Village for Vets, who creates small communities of tiny homes for homeless vets in need of some help. One of their main supporters? Former California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger (R). This Christmas season, Schwarzenegger donated $250,000 to build 25 additional tiny homes for homeless veterans in his state.
Schwarzenegger tweeted on Thursday, December 23rd:
“Today, I celebrated Christmas early. The 25 homes I donated for homeless veterans were installed here in LA. It was fantastic to spend some time with our heroes and welcome them into their new homes.”
The tiny homes are just that – tiny. They provide everything that a struggling veteran needs to work past the most challenging time in their life, a time in which they are homeless. A look inside reveals a number of shelves, with a bed on one side of the door. Each home is equipped with an air conditioner, as well as outlets that can be used for electronics.
When it comes to helping veterans, Arnold Schwarzenegger shares a passion that many Americans have. He has openly talked about how much the United States has done for him, and how he’s happy to give back in any way that he can. That is what prompted him to run for the California Governor position in 2003. He would end up winning that year, and would hold office until 2011.
The tiny houses that he helped make possible are located at the Office of Veterans Affairs in Los Angeles, at the Care Treatment Rehabilitative Services site on the campus. This site is integral in providing for veterans who are suffering from a number of ailments, and getting them back to a regular way of life.
One of the biggest issues that the VA, as well as organizations like Village for Vets and AMVETS are concerned with is pride. When you’ve served your country and come back to be without the care you so desperately need, you fall into a place that not many can help you out of. It is this sense of pride that these organizations hope to bring back to our homeless veterans. By giving them a place to live with reasonable accommodations, they are aiding them on their road to recovery.
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It is our hope that important figures like Arnold Schwarzenegger will set a trend for helping the homeless veterans in the country, but also the homeless population as a whole.
Homelessness is the United States affects over half a million people on any given night.
Helping people deal with the larger issues that plague them helps get them out of their predicament. Organizations like Village for Vets, and important figures like Arnold Schwarzenegger can take pride in the fact that they’re on the right path. Hopefully, through the tiny house program we’ll be able to see more success in these disenfranchised communities.