National Coalition for Homeless Veterans
The National Coalition for Homeless Veterans is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization in the United States that provides a nationwide network of community-based service providers, working with local, state, and federal agencies which provide emergency housing, food, health services for the numerous homeless veterans. The NCHV was founded in 1990, by a group disturbed by the high number of veterans among the nation’s homeless population.
One of the main reasons for homelessness among veterans is Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), formerly known as “combat fatigue” or “shell shock.” With the Iraq War of the early 2000s, a number of veterans also suffer from Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI), in which a physical trauma to the head, which until the 21st century may have been an automatic death sentence, instead is a lifelong, crippling medical condition. Many vets, because of PTSD, also have concurrent substance abuse problems, preventing them from holding steady employment and maintaining housing.
The National Coalition for Homeless Veterans provides both guidance and information to all agencies that provide service to the nation’s homeless veterans. By its own admission, the Department of Veteran Affairs (VA) can only reach about 40 percent of the nation’s homeless vets. The National Coalition for Homeless Veterans is there to help fill in that gap.