In the U.S., the final Monday in May is a federal holiday dedicated to mourning citizens who died while serving in the military. While the current iteration of the holiday dates to 1971, versions of Memorial Day can be traced back more than 150 years and over 25 different locations claim to be the originator of the holiday. While Memorial Day provides an important opportunity to stop and honor the fallen, it also serves as a poignant reminder of how we are (or aren't) supporting the veterans who are still with us. Veterans are 7% of the general population, but 13% of the adult homeless population; on any given night, about 40,000 U.S. veterans are currently experiencing homelessness. Additionally, homeless veterans are twice as likely as housed veterans to struggle with mental disorders like PTSD, depression, and addiction.
However, these trends are moving in the right direction - while they are still disproportionately represented among homeless adults, veteran homelessness decreased by 45% between 2009 and 2017. This collection explores the ongoing solutions efforts that have dramatically improved the services offered to veterans and helped them reintegrate successfully into civilian life.
- What are the specific challenges experienced by veterans that make their encounters with the legal system and/or government support additionally complex?
- Choose an Issue Area or a Success Factor related to social services. Then, create your own collection and select at least 4 (or more) stories from the Solution’s Story Tracker that relate to your topic. If working in groups, each group can present on the issues and solutions they found most compelling.
- Journalism is a collaborative practice: reporters are writing for their community, but they also depend on community members as sources for information. Indeed, the very purpose of journalism, according to the American Press Institute, is to provide citizens with the information they need to make the best possible decisions about their lives, their communities, their societies, and their governments. With that in mind, SJN wants to help connect news readers and journalists. Beside the name of the journalist on any of our story pages or the results page of the Solutions Story Tracker, you’ll find a Twitter icon that will link you directly to the journalists profile. Tweet at them with questions or compliments about their piece - you might be surprised by how much writers want to engage with their audiences! Don’t forget to tag us too (@soljourno) and use the hashtag #journalistintheclassroom if you are reading as part of an academic assignment.