Highlights and Lowlights:
Major Mindfulness: Providence, Rhode Island, takes the gold medal overall, placing first in both the Mental and Medical Health Care ranks. Providence has the most VA health facilities, PTSD programs, substance-use disorder programs, and suicide prevention coordinators per 10,000 veterans.
Salt Lake City (No. 2) and Syracuse, New York (No. 5), have similarly high Mental and Medical Health Care access. Syracuse has the third-highest number of VA health facilities per 10,000 veterans.
Second-Career Cities: Southern cities Atlanta (No. 8), San Antonio, Texas (No. 13), and Arlington, Texas (No. 63), are great options for job-seeking vets. All three cities tied for the highest number of veteran job fairs. Atlanta comes out on top at No. 1 in Employment and Volunteering. A-Town has the most on-the-job training opportunities per 1,000 veterans.
It’s no surprise that San Antonio, aka Military City, USA, has a large vet population. SA tied with two other cities for the most VET TEC providers. Additionally, Alamo City has many VSOs, USOs, and military bases, which can provide employment resources for transitioning service members.
Vetting the Golden State: Most California cities fared poorly, with only San Diego landing in the better half of our ranking at No. 33 overall. In fact, Golden State cities make up the entirety of our bottom 20 — except for Cape Coral, Florida.
Not only is the cost of living high, but many veterans in California also lack access to mental health care, education, employment, and other resources. Unaffordable housing is another big factor holding Cali cities back. California accounts for about a third of the entire homeless veteran population in the U.S.
Our full ranking and analysis are available here: https://www.lawnstarter.com/blog/studies/best-cities-for-veterans/