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Services for Homeless Vets Expand as Feds Announce Plan

http://stream.publicbroadcasting.net/production/mp3/wfsu/local-wfsu-908045.mp3

Tallahassee, FL – As the Obama Administration prepares to roll out a plan to end homelessness among veterans, the state of Florida is trying to ensure that vets get all the services they deserve. Tiffany Lewis reports.

The Florida Department of Children and Families is working to get services such as child welfare and food stamps to homeless veterans and their families. The agency also works with Veterans Affairs, which provides mental health and substance abuse treatment. DCF Veterans Services Director Steve Holmes says it's vital to get these programs to young returning veterans.

If we cannot get them sufficient mental health and substance abuse treatment," said Holmes, "we could have individuals who are heading down the road of homelessness, suicide - and that's on the extreme end, but just simply having very difficult times with their families."

According to a 2008 study, Florida has about 175,000 veterans who have served in Iraq or Afghanistan. About half have reported suffering from post traumatic stress disorder and/or brain injury.