How Legal Aid Helps Veterans
Today we join in honoring our nation’s nearly 19 million veterans, who have earned our profound gratitude with their invaluable service and sacrifice to our country.
The true measure of our country is reflected not only in their extraordinary commitment to duty but also in how we care for them when they return to civilian life. Far too many of our nation’s veterans are now confronting daunting challenges involving homelessness, child custody, bankruptcy, obtaining earned benefits, unemployment, and other civil legal issues.
LSC-funded legal aid providers across the country are helping military families meet these challenges, but much remains to be done. Veterans are twice as likely as the general population to face chronic homelessness, and 16 percent of homeless adults in America are vets. Nearly a half million vets cannot find a job, a majority of them age 45 and older. And many of those with jobs remain at the bottom of the economic ladder—2.5 million veteran-headed households have incomes at or below $25,000 a year.
LSC briefed the Senate this year, and the House the year before, on these and other related problems facing veterans and service members and offered suggestions on how best to address them.
LSC and its grantees have developed many initiatives to assist military families, including launching StatesideLegal.org, the first national website focused on helping veterans and military families; establishing medical-legal partnerships with veterans’ health centers; operating legal hotlines for veterans; taking part in Stand Down events for homeless veterans; organizing pro bono assistance; and other outreach and advocacy programs.
On this day we need to resolve to do all that we can to keep faith with our nation’s veterans, who have sacrificed so much, for so many.