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This report documents the outcomes of veterans served by the Veterans Homelessness Prevention Demonstration program (VHPD), one element of the Obama administration's signature initiative to end veteran homelessness. It describes the housing, employment, and health of veterans before they entered VHPD and 6 months after leaving the program. It discusses the lessons learned through VHPD, strongly emphasizing how important it is to reach out to veterans in ways that appeal to them (including peer-to-peer outreach and having veterans on staff) and the benefits of bringing together housing assistance, case management, and employment services.
In this policy brief, the authors discuss tackling the veteran homelessness problem holistically. More than providing housing, veteran policies must address the underlying causes of homelessness, which in many cases is a lack of preparation and awareness of the full spectrum of challenges associated with transitioning from military to civilian life.
This report from the Syracuse University Institute for Veterans and Military Families (IVMF) looks at the progress of the Supportive Services for Veteran Families (SSVF) program, a first-of-its-kind initiative that assists veteran families at imminent risk of homelessness in maintaining safe, permanent housing.SSVF is also designed to meet the needs of veteran families that have become homeless by rapidly re-engaging with permanent housing and other support structures to achieve quick housing outcomes and community integration. SSVF ensures that every veteran household in New York State would have access to high-quality, outcome-oriented homelessness prevention services.The New York State Health Foundation (NYSHealth) and IVMF recognized this program as an opportunity to make a demonstrable impact in preventing veteran homelessness in New York State. With support from NYSHealth, the IVMF is working to grow the capacity for SSVF grantee applicants and will work with existing grantees to help increase their capacity to serve veterans. As result of NYSHealth's investment, New York State secured $26 million in federal resources through the SSVF program in 2013.
This fact sheet is intended to raise awareness of the prevalence and impact of trauma in the lives of womenVeterans, particularly those experiencing homelessness. Included is a discussion of trauma-informed care, anorganizational response to meeting the unique needs of this population.
The National Summit on Women Veteran Homelessness brought together noted researchers, policy and practice experts, and women veterans with the lived experience of homelessness in a day and a half of facilitated dialogue sessions. Our purpose was threefold. First, we wanted to call attention to the growing national problem of homelessness among women veterans. Second, we wanted to better understand the unique challenges facing women veterans who have lost their homes or are at risk of homelessness. Finally, we sought to gather information and ideas for solutions to prevent and end homelessness among women veterans. Rich information was obtained from these sessions that will help us to understand the complex conditions that can result in women veteran homelessness, isolate the key areas where action to remediate the issues is required and create comprehensive and sustainable solutions that reduce the risk of women veteran homelessness and help those who are already homeless to achieve full reintegration into their communities. This report begins with a summary of presentations delivered by three experts who provided background on the demographics of homeless veterans, key programs at the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), a research perspective on the challenges homeless women veterans face and litigation and advocacy as tools for change. The core of the report, called the Summit Dialogue Sessions, summarizes three roundtable discussions centered on the following themes: 1) pathways to homelessness for women veterans; 2) strategies for exiting homelessness; and 3) approaches to preventing women veterans from falling into homelessness. The report then turns attention to the list of actionable tasks which grew out of the roundtables, as well as two facilitated "fishbowls" in which subgroups of Summit participants explored specific issues related to policy, practice and research. Together, these offer not only a record of the work accomplished at the Summit, but also a pathway to future research, policy and program initiatives that hold the hope and potential for preventing and ending women veteran homelessness.
The number of women in the military -- both active duty and veteran populations -- is growing rapidly. They face unusual challenges because of their military experiences and for many, multiple roles as breadwinner, parent, and spouse. Often their return to civilian life is difficult. An estimated 75,609 veterans are homeless, sheltered or unsheltered, on any given night. Women were 10,214 (7.5%) of the 136,334 homeless veterans who were sheltered sometime between October 1, 2008 and September 30, 2009 (U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs). Female veterans have a greater risk of homelessness compared to their civilian counterparts. Risk of homelessness for recent veterans, particularly women who served in Iraq and/or Afghanistan, is increasing.The experience of trauma prior to enlistment coupled with trauma experienced while in uniform is a common denominator among homeless female veterans. Research suggests that 81-93% of female veterans have been exposed to some type of trauma, significantly higher rates than the civilian population (Zinzow et al., 2007). Traumatic experiences include childhood abuse and neglect, domestic violence, military sexual trauma, and combat-related stress. These experiences have a significant impact on mental and physical health, family relationships, and housing and job stability. Trauma Informed Care for Women Veterans Experiencing Homelessness is designed to be used by community-based service agencies that work with homeless female veterans in a variety of settings (e.g., emergency shelters, domestic violence shelters, transitional and supportive housing programs, outpatient settings). Leaders within these organizations who are looking to improve their effectiveness in engaging the female veterans they serve can use this guide to begin the process of becoming trauma-informed.
Hundreds of veterans are sleeping on the street or in the emergency shelter system in the District of Columbia. This brief examines data from the vulnerability index survey, completed by the DC Department of Health and Human Services and Common Ground, a nonprofit supportive housing provider. These data indicate that homeless veterans in DC have numerous health problems, leaving them highly vulnerable to premature mortality. The DC Veteran Affairs Medical Center should prioritize these highly vulnerable homeless veterans for HUD-VASH vouchers, which link housing subsidies with supportive services
Hundreds of veterans are sleeping on the street or in the emergency shelter system in the District of Columbia. This brief examines data from the vulnerability index survey, completed by the DC Department of Health and Human Services and Common Ground, a nonprofit supportive housing provider. These data indicate that homeless veterans in DC have numerous health problems, leaving them highly vulnerable to premature mortality. The DC Veteran Affairs Medical Center should prioritize these highly vulnerable homeless veterans for HUD-VASH vouchers, which link housing subsidies with supportive services.