Houston Still Has Challenges To End Veterans’ Homelessness
The Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center recently held an event to provide services to that segment of the population.
This article is a repost from Houston Public Media.
ALVARO 'AL' ORTIZ | POSTED ON OCTOBER 10, 2016, 8:09 AM (LAST UPDATED: DECEMBER 17, 2018, 2:08 PM)
Design with Ease
Houston’s veterans face different challenges when they transition from military to civilian life and that can make their access to housing difficult despite the city’s progress on homelessness.
Carl Salazar, director of Houston’s Veterans Affairs Office, says there are always people coming in or falling between the cracks.
Salazar says Harris County has the second largest veteran population in the United States, just behind Los Angeles County, with approximately 250,000 veterans.
Some of them are in Houston because it is their hometown, but others come because they hear it is an affordable city that also offers many job opportunities.
That means Houston regularly receives an influx of veterans and some of them don’t have a place to stay.
In some cases the mere process of applying for housing becomes a challenge.
That is happening to Calvin Mansell, a 60 year old homeless veteran who is living on the streets, north of downtown Houston.
He says he applied for housing about a month ago and hasn’t heard back yet.
Mansell also notes the difficulty of the application process. “Sometimes we as homeless people don’t have the access to communications as far as cell phones, computers, applying online, all these type of situations where some of us don’t really know about these types of things,” he said.
Mansell says he has two grown daughters, but he doesn’t want to become a burden for them and so he prefers to stay homeless until he finally gets the housing he has applied for.