Advocates See Growing Unemployment, Homelessness Among Veterans
By Kim Glovas
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – The nation observes Veterans Day today, but there are many veterans who are unemployed and on the streets.
Careerbuilder.com says 3-in-10 employers say they are actively seeking veterans. But, Ed Speller of Philadelphia Stand Down says he doesn’t see a lot of vets getting jobs because their area of expertise doesn’t translate over to civilian life.
“If this guy or this lady has a specialty that has nothing to do with what’s here at home, you need employers to have a lot of empathy for that and say ‘hey, I can teach you how to do this’ and give them the opportunity to succeed.”
Ray Bates of Veterans Outreach in the Pennsylvania Labor Department says a job is the first step to getting veterans off the streets.
“Veterans are supposed to receive veteran’s preference for hiring, especially with the major employers and federal contractors, part of my job is to — I call it — harass employers to hire vets. And I get the same phrase from these employers: ‘you know we’re not hiring right now.'”
Bates has been working with veterans for the past 20 years and says he’s never seen homelessness as bad as it is now. Bates is urging employers to step up and make an effort to hire a vet.