A census taken by a non-profit group that monitors the homeless population in Alabama shows that the number of homeless veterans along the coast is on the rise, the Press-Register reports.  

The group, Housing First, conducted the census in November released the results at the end of December. Of the 336 veterans who participated in the census, 152 reported them as homeless, a striking 85 percent increase over the number from two years ago.  

Bill Atkeison, secretary of the South Alabama Veterans Council, says that almost all veterans advocacy groups have reported increases in homelessness among members, a problem that has coincided with two simultaneous wars and the sluggish economy back home.  

“That’s what happens when you send people to war,” Atkeison told the Press- Register. “When they come back, they need things. They need help.  

“We live in the greatest nation on Earth. This is the best place to be, and it is that way because of our military. The veterans deserve and need whatever help we can give them.”