I have learned many things as a Veteran advocate for the homeless. Many of our homeless veterans suffer from mental illness, PTSD or have other issues that haunt them on a daily basis. Many feel beaten down and ashamed about the way they look, smell and sometimes act. May have lost their dignity and feel defeated. They feel separated from society. They observe life around them and it often seems like something foreign. You see each of them started out somewhere with seemingly normal lives. Some came from small towns other from large but they generally had family, friends, education etc. Somewhere along the road though, their lives all took a tragic turn. Whether it was drugs, alcohol, crime, childhood abandonment issues that finally catch up, a failed relationship or marriage…etc. They are human and they often feel hopeless in their situation. Many are not able to actually work due to mental obstacles and face issues with anxiety because of the stress of living on the streets.