Measuring Communities, an online data tool designed to enhance military family and veterans support groups’ understanding of their communities’ characteristics, has released its first national report chronicling conditions facing military families and veterans in a variety of social areas. The initiative, launched two years ago by Purdue University’s Military Family Research Institute, includes data from more than 30 sources covering military-specific information in the medical and behavioral health, financial, employment, education, housing, legal, community and demographics realms. The institute is making the tool available to individuals as well as community organizations to customize the data to learn more about their local needs.
More than 60 organizations across the country are using the Measuring Communities online tool, reports Military Times. One group that contacted the institute before providing employment support to younger veterans, for example, found out that unemployment was much higher among older veterans in their county.
The new report reveals that while veterans unemployment has declined overall, in several regions it is still higher than the corresponding figure for civilians of similar age, including six western states, five northeastern states and three southeastern states. Ten states are experiencing increases in the number of homeless veterans, according to the report.