There has been a 12% increase in unhoused veterans in 2023 compared to last year in Orange County, according to United to End Homelessness, an initiative of Orange County’s United Way.
The nonprofit hosts an annual state of homelessness event. This year’s event focused on veterans, using data collected by Orange County’s Continuum of Care Program, which coordinates countywide nonprofits and government agencies working to address homelessness.
Becks Heyhoe, executive director of United to End Homelessness, says that 525 veteran households so far have become homeless in the county this year. She says the increase is due to, “a growing and aging veteran population, an insufficient inventory of housing units at fair market rent, and inflation and financial pressures,” among other reasons.
“When we look at veteran homelessness in Orange County, 94% of those households are adult only,” Heyhoe says. “I think that’s some good news, we don’t have many children experiencing homelessness connected to veterans.”