This article explores veteran homelessness policies in the United States, United Kingdom, Australia and Italy using a Social Justice Framework. When Comparing the policies of the United States to those of the United Kingdom, Australia and Italy they found that the policies of the latter were grounded in a reality in which the armed forces was mandatory as opposed to being a volunteer force. In having policies that recognize the armed forces as a volunteer force the policies are strongly guided by notions of a right to housing. Thus the paper notes that a country whose policies are primarily guided by the notion of rights, more effectively addresses the social problem of veteran homeless.
Utilizing a social justice framework, a comparative analysis determined which social justice values and philosophies most effectively guide policies that address the social problem of veteran homelessness. First, we explore the United States’ policy approach addressing veterans who are homelessness across various historical eras. This is followed by an international comparison examining the current policies of Australia, the United Kingdom, and Italy in addressing homelessness among veterans. We found that policies among these countries are still anchored in a reality that no longer exists for them—that of mandatory service for all adult males. United States’ current policy is alone (among those studied) anchored in the existing reality of an all-volunteer force, enabling the country to adopt policies strongly guided by notions of a right to housing. It is such policies, primarily guided by the notion of rights, which effectively address the social problem of veteran homeless.
Lowe, S., & Dybicz, P. (2019). Veteran Homelessness: Examining the Values of Social Justice Guiding Policy. Journal of Veterans Studies, 4(1), 15–33. DOI: http://doi.org/10.21061/jvs.v4i1.91