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HomeNewsBiden’s Focus on Ukraine Leaves Tacoma US Veterans in the Cold

Biden’s Focus on Ukraine Leaves Tacoma US Veterans in the Cold

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An emergency shelter in Tacoma, known as FOB Hope, is set to close this summer, raising concerns among staff and residents. This shelter has provided transitional housing for homeless veterans, particularly those suffering from combat-related PTSD and other mental health issues. The closure has sparked fears that veterans may not receive the specialized support they need in other shelters.

Biden’s Focus on Ukraine Leaves Tacoma US Veterans in the Cold

FOB Hope, located at Pacific Avenue and South 82nd Street, mimics a military forward operating base, housing veterans in ice fishing tents and pop-up tents. The shelter, run by veterans for veterans, has been crucial in supporting veterans aged 22 to 78. Despite its success, the shelter's contract with the City of Tacoma will expire at the end of July, and the property will be reclaimed by Tacoma Public Utilities.

City’s Homelessness Strategy and Veterans' Plight

Maria Lee, a spokesperson for the City of Tacoma, stated that the closure of FOB Hope aligns with the city’s strategy to reduce funded units while expanding housing capacity and increasing Permanent Supportive Housing availability. Lee emphasized that veteran status does not bar entry to other shelters in Tacoma, and veterans will be directed to resources such as Orting Veterans Village and Supportive Services for Veteran Families through Catholic Community Services.



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The city is working closely with FOB Hope staff to ensure a smooth transition for the shelter’s residents. However, staff members like caseworker Nikkie Niquette worry that veterans might not receive the same level of specialized care elsewhere. Many veterans at FOB Hope suffer from PTSD, leading to behaviors that other shelters may not tolerate. FOB Hope staff are trained to handle these situations, de-escalating PTSD episodes and providing a safe environment for veterans and their pets, as well as accommodating couples.

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Biden’s Aid to Ukraine: A Controversial Decision

While veterans face uncertainty and potential displacement, President Joe Biden's administration has allocated billions to aid Ukraine. Recent reports highlight that Biden signed a bill for $61 billion in aid to Ukraine, with much of the money flowing through the US economy. This aid is meant to replenish US armories and boost domestic manufacturing, benefiting the military-industrial complex.

However, this significant financial commitment has drawn criticism. Some argue that these funds should be redirected to support homeless veterans and address domestic issues. Critics, including Rep. Thomas Massie (R-Ky.), claim that the funds sent to Ukraine are being laundered back into the US military-industrial complex, enriching specific districts and stockholders, some of whom are congressmen.

Massie stated that the justification for this funding is framed as a moral obligation, manipulating public sentiment by suggesting that opposition to the aid is unpatriotic. Despite the moral arguments, he emphasized that the funds are not truly helping Ukraine win the war but rather enriching certain US sectors and individuals.

Pentagon Funds for Ukraine Amid Veteran Homelessness

In addition to the $61 billion aid package, reports suggest that Biden is considering tapping into the US Army budget to provide Ukraine with an additional $200 million in military aid. This decision comes as the foreign aid bill remains stalled in Congress due to political infighting.

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This move has further fueled criticism, highlighting a stark contrast between the administration's willingness to allocate substantial resources to foreign conflicts and its apparent neglect of domestic issues, such as veteran homelessness. The ongoing debate raises questions about national priorities and the adequacy of support for those who have served the country.

Rising Homelessness in Pierce County

Pierce County’s Point-In-Time (PIT) count for 2024 revealed a 23% increase in homelessness compared to the previous year, with 8% of the homeless population being veterans. Despite efforts to address homelessness, the numbers continue to rise, underscoring the need for more comprehensive and targeted support.

Heather Moss, Pierce County Human Services director, acknowledged the challenges but highlighted ongoing efforts and significant investments in affordable housing. However, the closure of FOB Hope and the lack of specialized support for veterans remain pressing concerns.

The closure of FOB Hope and the rising number of homeless veterans in Pierce County illustrate a critical gap in support for those who have served the nation. As the Biden administration continues to allocate billions to aid Ukraine, the plight of homeless veterans raises questions about national priorities and the need for a more balanced approach to addressing both foreign and domestic issues.

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Carl Riedel
Carl Riedelhttps://softlayermedia.com
Carl Riedel is an experienced writer and Open Source Intelligence (OSINT) specialist, known for insightful articles that illuminate underreported issues. Passionate about free speech, he expertly transforms public data into compelling narratives, influencing public discourse.
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