Homeless campsite found during PIT count


North Georgia veterans participate in HUD annual Homeless Count


In 2023, there were 67,495 homeless veterans in the United States. 10.6% of all homeless people in the U.S. are veterans. Veterans are twice as likely to become homeless versus those who didn’t serve in the military (https://vaclaimsinsider.com/how-many-veterans-are-there). If you assumed equal distribution of homeless veterans across each state, that would mean that there are over 1,000 homeless veterans here in Georgia. This is not what is being reported due to lack of valid data.
• Georgia is one of the largest veteran populations in the nation
• Georgia has one of the largest female veteran populations in the nation
• 48 to 67% of all homeless veterans have some type of mental health issue
• 9% of homeless veterans are female, some with children. Many female veterans, at some time during their bout with homelessness, have thought of suicide.
• According to reports – veteran homelessness rose 7% in 2023 and overall homelessness rose 12%

For the ninth year, during the period of January 22-29, a team of veterans in north Georgia headed up by the Cherokee County Homeless Veteran Program (CCHVP), part of American Legion Post 45 in Canton and veterans from Vietnam Veterans of America, VFW and VETBUDS searched a four-county area for homeless to include homeless veterans.
The four counties (Cherokee, Pickens, Dawson and Forsyth) were selected as they are also part of a Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) mental health grant targeted for veterans, noted Jim Lindenmayer, Director of CCHVP and Legion Post 45 service officer. During our count, we encountered three veterans living in their car, three single female veterans with small children who were homeless, four veterans who reported mental health or addiction issues and two females fleeing from domestic violence. We are also continuing to look for additional homeless veterans that we were made aware of but so far have been unable to find.
Currently, we have almost all of the veterans we encountered in temporary housing in local hotels and have referred those with mental health or addiction issues to our partner, AboutFACEUSA, who leads the SAMHSA veteran mental health grant.
Lindenmayer also noted that only 34 of the eligible 152 rural counties to be counted were actually counted this year in the state of Georgia. This represents roughly 22% of all counties that should have been counted. Due to lack of focus on counting, Georgia ranks 26th in federal grants for veteran housing program dollars for HUD, VASH and SSVF.

Abandon building where homeless were found

Homeless backpack kits we provided to homeless encountered
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