Veteran Experts Raise Alarm Bells as Homelessness Rates Increase for the First Time in 12 Years

Veteran Advocate and VetComm CEO Kate Monroe and National Defense Committee Director Bob Carey Urge Attention to Rising Housing Insecurity for Veterans

SAN DIEGO, Jan. 3, 2024 /PRNewswire/ — For the first time in 12 years, U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s 2023 data revealed an increase in homelessness among veterans, with a 7.4% increase between 2022 and 2023. Marine veteran and CEO of VetComm, Kate Monroe, is spotlighting critical factors contributing to the trends facing men and women who served our country yet struggle for a place to call home. 

“A needlessly deplorable situation is getting markedly worse for our veterans facing housing insecurity and homelessness,” stated Monroe. “This is the ultimate betrayal of the government to allow our heroes to be unhoused. We have means accessible to us now to make a meaningful difference and impact in the lives of veterans. It requires that we get out of failing ‘status quo’ mode and step into an emergency response action.”

Monroe does not just pay lip service to one of the biggest social issues facing the nation, she gets into the trenches with regular tours of California’s most impacted cities and neighborhoods, like “Bottoms” in San Diego and San Francisco’s Tenderloin District – regularly consulting and interviewing individuals living on the streets. Through her research and expert consultations, Monroe endorses a “base camp” model to mitigate the many factors contributing homelessness.

With her own field experience in setting up base camps, Monroe asserts that many cities have the capabilities of establishing transitional “emergency” camps to serve thousands in a matter of days. Monroe’s approach would revolve around “sanction camping” outside of city centers and in converted KOA-like campsites. There, unhoused individuals would receive medical and VA disability counseling services, security, sustenance, sanitation, and mental health and disability support. Monroe’s model would be a fraction of the cost that cities regularly spend to place homeless in hotels, while addressing the root issues of homelessness. “Transition without transformation is a waste of time, energy and taxpayer dollars,” urges Monroe.

Moreover, Monroe is focused on the “circumstantially homeless” scenario, affecting veterans who have only been homeless for a short period of time.

“The state of homelessness becomes reaffirmed as time goes on, with the increasing exposure to physical health challenges, mental health challenges, and substance abuse,” notes Monroe. “There is funding and services readily available to our vets to prevent them from falling through the cracks, particularly those transitioning out of active service. They’re just not getting access to it quickly and efficiently, especially since the entirety of the VA homelessness program is based on the VA giving grants to third parties, who then give a fraction of that money to the veterans.”

According to veteran issues expert and National Defense Committee Director, Bob Carey, part of the problem is the Department of Veteran Affairs (VA) is tasked with disseminating veteran benefits AND limiting federal budgetary expenditures, which many consider a conflict of interest.

“The entire VA disability compensation process  has become adversarial with the veteran having to prove to the VA that they are disabled and that it was caused by their time in service,” says Carey who asserts the initial disability claims take, on average, five months to adjudicate, and then if claims goes to an appeal, the wait time for the appeal hearing is 847 days.

“Meanwhile, some veterans groups are trying to keep qualified private sector programs away from helping veterans, even though they’ve consistently been quicker, more efficient, and get higher average pension ratings,” adds Carey. “The GUARD Act seeks to prohibit veterans from choosing who to help them with their disability claim. And the longer it takes to get a veteran the disability compensation they rate, the more likely they are to struggle basic needs like shelter.”

The GUARD Act was a bill introduced in April 2023 by Sen. John Boozman [R-AR]. The bill imposes criminal penalties on individuals for directly or indirectly soliciting, contracting for, charging, or receiving any unauthorized fee or compensation with respect to the preparation, presentation, or prosecution of any claim for Department of Veterans Affairs benefits.

“Time is literally money, security and support when it comes to these disability pensions,” emphasized Monroe. “Delays and denials, which are common via the federal review process, will worsen when an oligopoly is established through the eradication of private sector businesses that support veterans.”

Monroe encourages vets to research and explore their options in accessing due veteran disability pensions and to only work with accredited institutions that offer money-back guarantees if pensions are not awarded. 

About Kate Monroe:

Kate Monroe is a 100% rated disabled USMC veteran. As the CEO of, she leads a team of dedicated professionals who help veterans get what they are owed from the VA. With more than 10 years of experience in sales, leadership, and coaching, her mission is to empower veterans to access their benefits and improve their quality of life.

Kate is the author of several books, has appeared over 60+ times on broadcast news and is a contributor on homeless, drugs, border, veteran affairs, foreign affairs on Forbes, Fox News, Medium, Inman and many more. In fact, she went viral for her take on the San Diego homeless crisis. In 2023, Kate released her book, “The Race to Save America”.

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