The Florida Veterans Homelessness cycle defined

In my past life in politics and public affairs, I sat through plenty of briefings on veterans homelessness. I was always attentive and open.

Then it happened to me. As you read these words, I’m struggling to find a stable place to live in the community I grew up in. And sadly, this isn’t the first time.

There is a cycle. You can hear a lot of government officials talk to you about this.

But I’m living it. This is how it really is. I’ve seen it everyday during my search for housing in Orlando.

A missed military to civilian hand off or life setback: We get out of the military without the proper guidance. We can’t get the jobs we want because of the translation of skills to the private sector (I wrote about my specific case HERE). We can’t find our tribe. Our old people have moved on. And our new friends aren’t the same as our military buddies. We stumble out of the gate and our own community doesn’t feel like home anymore.

This leads to bad decision making and coping skills following failure: With no ways to earn money, effectively communicate, or a dependable support structure, we make bad decisions. This can involve bad career moves (like blogging instead of a trade) and accumulating debt to compensate. Some will sadly start to drink heavily or abuse drugs.

And then the real trouble starts: Many of us will start drinking heavily or abusing drugs. We’ll start experiencing depression and regret. We’ll lose jobs. We’ll get arrested. And we’ll start sinking to the bottom.

We’ll lose everything: We’ll lose our jobs. We’ll lose what little relationships we have left. A lot of divorces and broken families. And then we’ll lose our homes. And you’ll be like myself and so many other veterans that I’m seeing everyday.

We give up or we’ll try to climb out of hell: Because of the lack of effective resources that help veterans, many of us will give up and surrender to a life on the street. A tragic way for a soul that once pledge to defend our way of life to resolve.

Or we can try to climb out of the abyss. I’m doing it right now, and I can tell you it’s hard. Nobody wants you around. The people that truly do care are few and far in between, and if you’re in Orlando, the housing market is designed for you to fail.

This is the truth: You can watch dozens of panels from government officials and veterans organizations, but they won’t tell you what’s really happening because they don’t want to look bad and they wouldn’t get anymore money.

We know what the cycle is. But until we pledge to break it with real solutions that put veterans over profits and politics, then it will never break.

That’s the way it is.

Readers. Times are tough. If you can help the blog below, I’d be grateful. You can reach me directly at Thank you

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