Oftentimes service-members enter the military before they get their first job. Once they exit the service, finding a new job becomes their next mission. No amount of military training prepares some vets for civilian life, which means some former service members feel lost and without direction. Tens of thousands of veterans wind up homeless. But luckily, several agencies provide help for those who deserve it most.
In 2011, as many as 67,000 U.S. veterans were homeless on any given night, according to the United States Interagency Council on Homelessness. Contributing reasons include PTSD, brain injury, substance abuse, serious mental illness, and sexual trauma. Programs from the VA and the Department of Labor assist local agencies with funding many initiatives that find jobs for homeless veterans. These programs provide mental help, job training and preparedness training for civilian employment.
Occupational therapy keeps combat injuries from becoming an impediment to employment, notes The Veterans Site. The loss of a limb shouldn’t prevent a former service member from maintaining a meaningful job. Transitional housing programs remain one of the first ways homeless veterans receive help, and these programs put homeless veterans in touch with occupational therapy professionals who rehabilitate the physical stature of vets. The Vocational Rehabilitation and Employment Program provides a comprehensive rehabilitation evaluation for homeless veterans to ascertain abilities, interests and skills for future employment, states the VA. While undergoing rehabilitation with the assistance of professional occupational therapists, many homeless vets start vocational training.
Vocational training involves practical skills training for veterans based on their interests. Programs put formerly homeless veterans in touch with educational opportunities for a wide range of jobs, such as HVAC installation, truck driving, nursing and many other professionally licensed vocations. These programs prepare veterans for a vibrant career in the private sector.
As homeless veterans receive job training, they must prepare for employment. Some programs put formerly homeless vet in touch in job placement agencies. These agencies teach people how to write resumes and prepare vets to go through the job search process, says the Department of Labor. The department’s Homeless Veterans’ Reintegration Program gives local agencies grant money to find homeless veterans rehabilitation counseling, skills training and jobs so they can reintegrate to civilian life.If you see a homeless veteran, consider notifying a local veterans’ group to see if this person can get help. After spending years in the military, some veterans simply don’t know how to adjust to civilian life.