BENEFITING: SAN FRANCISCO PUBLIC HEALTH FOUNDATION
EVENT: Tough Mudder Tahoe 2016
EVENT DATE: Jun 11, 2016
Ask yourself how many people you've encountered that were homeless in the past week. One? Two? Perhaps five? Most likely, you've seen several if you lived in proximity to a major metropolitan area such as San Francisco.
No one born decided one day they would like to be homeless. In fact, many people are just one paycheck away from being homeless without even knowing.
I personally got to know a few homeless individuals walking to work. Some are homeless due to unaffordable housing, a death of a significant other that set them back, and getting hurt on the job and being unable to financially and physically recover.
The homeless veterans are another story. Many often become homeless due to war-related disabilities, whether it's a physical disability, mental anguish, post-traumatic stress, etc- many veterans find readjusting to civilian life difficult. Additionally, the difficulties readjusting can give rise to dangerous behaviors of addiction and abuse which can lead to homelessness.
Here's a few statistics on a homelessness crisis that we Americans cannot ignore:
-On a single night in January 2015, California accounted for 26% of the nation's homeless population
-California also has the highest percentage of unsheltered homeless people (64%).
-There's only one bed for every five homeless people that decide to seek help at a shelter in San Francisco.
-Between 2014 and 2015, homelessness increased by 1,786
-As of January 2015, there were 564,704 people that were homeless on a given night in the United States
-8% were considered veterans
This year, a team of 130 Blue Shield employees will participate in Tough Mudder on June 11th in Lake Tahoe, CA. Our goal and mission is to bring awareness on this soft-spoken issue and raise money to provide medical services, housing assistance, job placement services, and the like, that can mitigate the risk of veterans experiencing homelessness.
I kindly ask you to open your heart and wallet to support our military veterans that have honorably served for our country and need your help getting back up on their feet. Together, we can make a difference in someone's life.
*Statistics from the following sources 1) National Alliance to End Homelessness, "Snapshot of Homelessness 2015; 2) US Dept of Housing & Urban Development, " The 2015 Annual Homeless Assessment Report to Congress"*