Despite a drop in veterans homelessness nationwide, Pennsylvania has experienced an increase in its homeless veterans population over the last four years.
According to NBC Philadelphia, there were 46 percent more veterans in Pennsylvania living without permanent housing in 2013 than there were in 2009. About 440 of the state's more than 1,400 homeless veterans reside in Philadelphia.
The state's sizeable increase of its homeless veterans population strays considerably from the national rate, which dropped 24 percent since 2009, the news source stated. Several veterans said that a reason for the increase might be Philadelphia's high unemployment rate, which is currently 10.8 percent, according to data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
"Jobs would be the No. 1 thing," Darryl Halsell, a homeless Philadelphia veteran, told the news source. "A lot of vets here want to work. It's hard to find work."
A recent report from the Department of Housing and Urban Development found that there were more than 57,000 homeless veterans in January 2013, marking an 8 percent decline from 2012 and a 24 percent drop between 2009 and 2013. Approximately 60 percent of the nation's homeless veterans reside in shelters or transitional housing programs.