There are approximately 554,000 people experiencing homelessness in the United States according to a 2017 report from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) in 2017, but how many of those people are homeless veterans?
After several people posted photos and video of themselves burning their Nike gear to protest against the company making Kaepernick the face of their latest “Just Do It” campaign, Supporters of Kaepernick and Nike began to question the rationale of those setting fire to sneakers and clothing , saying they should donate them to the homeless and more specifically homeless veterans.
“If you’re burning your Nikes to “support veterans” instead of GIVING them to homeless veterans whose health care Trump degraded, then maybe it’s time to question what you’re REALLY so upset about, musician Mikel Jollett tweeted.
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If you’re burning your Nikes to “support veterans” instead of GIVING them to homeless veterans whose health care Trump degraded, then maybe it’s time to question what you’re REALLY so upset about.— Mikel Jollett (@Mikel_Jollett) September 4, 2018
Other people have taken Twitter to express similar ideas about supporting homeless veterans instead of burning their Nike gear.
If Kneeling in protest of injustice is un-American, then what do you call burning clothing in protest of kneeling, rather than donating it to our homeless veterans?— Ed Krassenstein (@EdKrassen) September 5, 2018
It's called "Ignorant egotistical carelessness"
Number of homeless veterans in the United States
According to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, there were 40,056 homeless veterans living in the U.S. in a single night in January 2017, which was a little more than nine percent of all homeless adults. The study shows that three out of five homeless military veterans were housed in emergency shelters or transitional housing facilities, while two out of five were living in places "not suitable for human habitation."
The U.S Department of Housing and Urban Development notes that nine out of ten (36,302) U.S. military veterans in 2017 were men. Nearly 57% of homeless military veterans were white, one-third were African American and five percent were multiracial in 2017.
MAP: Which states have the most homeless military veterans?
Data compiled by HUD from a single night in January 2017 shows that 11,472 (29 percent) of all homeless military veterans were in California, 2,817 veterans were in Florida and 2,200 homeless United States military veterans were in Texas. In 2017, there were 1244 homeless vets in New York, 853 in Massachusetts and 963 in Pennsylvania.
How to donate to homeless military veterans
For those interested in donating clothes to the reputable organizations to help homeless military veterans in the United States, there are a few options.
ClothingDonations.org has several ways to donate clothing items to veterans and allows you to enter your zip code to schedule a pick-up. Other organizations such as Purple Heart Pickup, the Salvation Army, United Way Worldwide and Veterans Affairs have ways to help military veterans struggling with homelessness at the state and national level. The National Coalition for Homeless Veterans has ways for people to get involved by donating money to homeless veterans via the Network for Good organization.