Nearly 10% of Georgia’s population are veterans, so veteran issues affect families and communities across our district and the state. Like many of her fellow Georgians, Phyllis Hatcher has family and friends that have served or are now serving in our armed forces. Her grandson, Nicholas, just recently finished boot camp and has deployed. Phyllis understands that it is impossible to truly repay our armed service veterans for their service to America, but we must do more than we are currently doing.

Recent statistics show that 8.8% of Georgia veterans are unemployed, 7.9% live in poverty, and 19.5% have a service-connected disability. The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development also estimates that approximately 1,548 Georgia veterans are homeless. Approximately 119,000 live in homes with one or more major problems of quality, crowding, or cost. Housing affordability is the greatest housing problem among veterans. Roughly 25.7 percent of Georgia veterans pay too much for their housing. Insufficient resources at the Georgia VA center in Atlanta are leading to delays in health care and other benefits, including long delays in education benefits.

While some progress has been made in recent years, especially in regard to veteran homelessness, these statistics show that more needs to be done. Our state government must continue to look for ways to help in this. By partnering with veterans, veteran groups, and fellow officeholders, Phyllis Hatcher is committed to working to meet the needs and improve the opportunities of those that have given so much to protect the security of our nation.

“My grandson inspires me everyday through his commitment to our country. I want to make sure that he and those who’ve served have a system at home that works.”