While New York might be last on the list when it comes to the percentage of veterans living in the state at just 4.4% of the adult population, it ranks 22nd of all 50 states for veterans living in poverty. Homeless veterans figures are alarming on a nationwide scale, hinting that much more needs to be done by government organizations to reintegrate veterans back into society. After gaining a keen understanding of what veterans face when they return home, states like New York can equip veterans to better navigate their challenges and reintegration with the best foot forward.
The Availability Of Suitable Housing
It’s only been a few years since Mayor Bill de Blasio announced success in the effort to curb chronic homelessness among veterans in New York City. Campaigns encouraged communities to house chronically homeless veterans. Landlords were at the top of the list of the appeals by the city to end the cycle. By definition, those who are labeled as “chronically homeless” are individuals that have been without a home for a full year or have had on-and-off accommodation for three years. While some veterans still find themselves in shelters, the homeless epidemic that faced the city has been gradually reduced but not eliminated.
Support For Veterans With Disabilities
While the housing efforts throughout New York already has a substantial effect on veterans, people need more than just a place to live. They also need access to safe and reliable transport, to recreational facilities, and to support centers for rehabilitation. Veterans who became permanently blind as a result of an injury while on active duty have access to the New York State Blind Annuity. There is also an E-Z pass for veterans with permanent disabilities who qualify for the fee-exempt vehicle registration from the Department of Motor Vehicles. Additionally, veterans who are permanently disabled can receive a civil service credit, along with their spouses. Some benefits are percentage-based, such as State Park Admission for disabled veterans, requiring a disability rate of 40% or more. Veterans can calculate their disability rate with an online disability calculator. to find out which additional supports they have access to,
Providing A Means To Be Productive
Veterans with disabilities may find it hard to be productive members of society, which can also bar them from generating an income. Several programs such as the Disabled Veterans’ Outreach Program Specialists (DVOPs) and Local Veterans’ Employment Representatives (LVERs) are geared to equip veterans to find employment. The Veterans with Disabilities Employment Program allows 500 positions to be filled with qualified veterans with disabilities in an effort to provide gainful employment. A disability rating of 10% is acceptable in order for applicants to submit their documents. Veterans who have received a Purple Heart are also immediately eligible.
Initiatives that provide an opportunity for veterans to re-engage in normal society are critical to prevent homelessness and isolation. Whether it’s finding suitable employment or enjoying simple things like a day at the park or museum, taking care of veterans should be a prominent task across the U.S. and New York is no exception.