Friday, November 09, 2007

MN Veterans Are NOT at Increased Risk for Homelessness 

Homelessness is an emotional issue that properly tugs at our heartstrings. We are also grateful to everyone who has served us in the military. However, our natural and justifiable emotional impulses on these issues are being exploited for purposes of leftist and anti-war propaganda.

If you were looking for news about homeless Minnesota adults who had served in the military, one might think that the following facts would be important:
A veteran is no more likely to become homeless than any other Minnesota resident.

The number of homeless veterans has gone down by more than 10% since 2003.

The percentage of veterans among homeless adults is the lowest ever.
That�s not what Minnesota newspaper readers are being told, however. This story from the Rochester Post-Bulletin is typical of the reporting:
A new study shows that about one-third of homeless military veterans in Minnesota have served in combat.

The Wilder Research Center's new report also shows high levels of post-traumatic stress disorder among veterans returning from Iraq and Afghanistan.

Study director Greg Owen says there's a higher incidence of the disorder among veterans from Iraq and Afghanistan than among homeless veterans overall.

He says untreated post-traumatic stress can lead to homelessness.

The center says about 625 military veterans are homeless in Minnesota on any given night. That's down from about 700 in 2003.
The decline in the number of homeless veterans is buried in the final sentence. None of the other important facts about veterans are mentioned.

Oh, and what about those veterans from Iraq and Afghanistan? The 50-page report from the Wilder Foundation actually says that among the estimated total of 4,731 homeless adults, only 17 had recently returned from Iraq or Afghanistan. That�s about 1/3 of 1%.

All of the other facts cited in bold above also come directly from the Wilder report itself.

I plan to post more on how this �story� emanates from a coordinated propaganda effort by leftist advocacy groups and anti-war activists.