On reports based on experience, it is easy to assume the reader cares most to have a simplistic and unchallenging read along with a comparison to relevance and the public perspective. While this methodology is the most collegiate and often an unoriginal construct; this multi-part report will tell the story from perceptive and then best attempt to explain what has transpired. This methodology is by no means intended to be degrading to those who were involved. While in fact those who have assisted me in the field have been clever and enlightening as their wisdom, and theories have provided me with new insight on previously held purpose-assumptions.


The objective of this report is to provide real-life experience, insights, and physically driven concepts versus a mode, means, method per incident report. As we find that understanding the topic and understanding the event do not always meet; nor do these things always fully understand each other in such abstract settings.

Homeless Veteran Demographics

  • 13% of the homeless adult population are veterans.
  • 20% of the male homeless population are veterans.
  • 68% reside in principal cities.
  • 32% reside in suburban/rural areas.
  • 51% of individual homeless veterans have disabilities.
  • 50% have serious mental illness.
  • 70% have substance abuse problems.
  • 51% are white males, compared to 38% of non-veteran.
  • 50% are age 51 or older, compared to 19% non-veterans.



Make a Tentative Plan

This experience as a homeless veteran when it was initially outlined, and discussed in concept, was an expansion on a course experience from my undergraduate program. A few years ago, and for a weekend, my class slept at a homeless shelter and lived the homeless life in four-person coed teams. From there we navigated as minimalists, and without technology around the city to the various agencies which offer help to the homeless; from showers to employment. Also in addition to finding our way through the mix of it in the city, we were also given several challenges, such as; to successfully ask for money from passing strangers – to know that dis-prideful feeling. We were also to navigate on foot to a point six miles away from the city center and obtain an employment application – while wearing donated clothes that we had two minutes to pull out of a pile of random attire. We were then to return and continue onto an assortment of other tasks. That’s not much for a soldier, but my unworldly classmates were given a headfirst look at some of the realities of life, which they only knew in passing. The learning objective of the course was for us to understand the variances in class, culture, community, demographics, minority, and society. We leaped from the book, into reality, and back.

Classroom to Reality

It is from that undergraduate course that I outlined my plan to return, and where I initially established the contacts to make this happen. My motivation to return was heavily reliant on the amount of veterans that I encountered on the streets during that first experience. They ranged from a few from the Vietnam era, many from the 1980’s and 1990’s as veterans of; Grenada, Panama, the Gulf War, and Bosnia to an ever increasing number of Afghanistan and Iraq veterans. My “ask” for this, and for them, was a test of the system and one’s character.