On Instagram @my_seester, I stated this blog would be done differently. It will be a poem that was inspired by a homeless person I assume I saw on a bench while driving home this week. I dedicate it to the many homeless female veterans that tend to be forgotten. For the homeless female veterans that does not quite feel welcome in shelters like Volunteers of America and others. You cannot put the name on why you just don’t feel right. That is what I was told by one female veteran.

THE NUMBERS (source https://www.air.org/resource/fact-sheet-women-veterans-homelessness-and-trauma)

Women veterans are two to four times more likely to be homeless than non-veteran women. This fact sheet from the National Center on Family Homelessness contains information on the prevalence and impact of trauma in the lives of women veterans, particularly those experiencing homelessness.

Some key facts:

  • Exposure to trauma is a significant risk factor for homelessness. Women veterans experience trauma at higher rates than the general population.
  • Approximately 1 in 4 women veterans screen positive for experiences of sexual assault or repeated, threatening acts of sexual harassment.
  • For women veterans who are homeless:
    • 32% struggle with substance abuse issues.
    • 45% screen positively for anxiety.
    • 57% present with health related issues.
    • 72% report being diagnosed with depression at some point in their lives.
    • 74% screen positively for PTSD.

Title: As I Lay

As I lay my head on this bench

I am assaulted by the stench

Ignoring the holes in my tee and my pockets that are inside out

From searching, hoping for money, but past realities make me doubt

My eyes are closed but I remain aware

Because, I feel the stare

The unasked question I also hear

The question that wonders how I got here

If asked I would respond by saying the choices I made

Living the fast life quickly leaves you not paid

Or, perhaps me craving above all else another hit

Or, it could be the mental institution I was staying was overcrowded so they deemed me well, though, I am unfit

I know without looking their looks of disdain and their nose up high

As they look, don’t stop, as they go bye

Here I lay on this bench

All is perfect except for my stench

2 replies
  1. admatha
    admatha says:

    I think I need to do a study on homeless veteran women… I mean, how do they get to that point? I know that drugs, and sexual harassment contribute, but I think that if I was a homeless female veteran, I would probably have to sell my ass to get money…

    I would not want to do that, but I’d have a better opportunity to do so and get money than a homeless man…

    I would probably have to hustle bus cards as plan b, or plan c would be to do something that will put me in jail for 90 days, so that I can come out of jail clean from drugs, with a social worker and better opportunities…

    being in jail would be better for me than being on the street… and even though the police seem to not want to arrest people who already have a bad life already, I would make them arrest me by finding a crack rock, and walking up to the officer and putting it on his car. That way, he would have to arrest me for possession, and I would have three meals a day and a clean place to stay, and people to talk to, so that I can give them my experience from the war that I served in…. this is not plan a… this is plan d … D for desperate…!

    Reply

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