Number of homeless veterans on the rise in KC - KCTV5

Number of homeless veterans on the rise in KC

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The number of mentally ill veterans and those with severe substance abuse issues nearly doubled. (AP Photo/Steven Senne) The number of mentally ill veterans and those with severe substance abuse issues nearly doubled. (AP Photo/Steven Senne)
KANSAS CITY, MO (KCTV) -

The latest numbers show the number of homeless veterans is on the rise in the Kansas City metro area.

After a downturn last year, veteran homelessness numbers shot up by 40% in Jackson County this year.

Research also shows other startling trends.

The latest stats from the Greater Kansas City Coalition to End Homelessness show the number of veteran homeless in Jackson County rose from 122 last year, to 170 homeless veterans this year.

The number of mentally ill veterans and those with severe substance abuse issues nearly doubled.

The National Coalition of Homeless Veterans points to several factors, including an affordable housing shortage, limited health care access and a large population of veterans living with PTSD.

Brad Jackson advocates for veterans in the Kansas City metro area.

A former marine corps veteran himself, Jackson says a big challenge for returning veterans isn’t just getting a job but holding onto one.

He told KCTV5 about his old job at a custom car shop.

“I told one of the mechanics to do something, he told me no,” Jackson said. “So I handled it the way I would, one of my marines out in the field, and I made him do it. My boss came in and said, I can’t have you here. You can’t be treating the employees that way. And so it’s hard for us to adapt.”

In addition, the statistics show that the veteran homeless population is overwhelmingly men. However, female veterans have a higher unemployment rate than their male counterparts.

To view more statistics on homeless veterans visit: http://www.hscgkc.org/uploads/3/4/9/5/34958486/yearly_pit_comp.2010-2016.basic.pdf

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