218162 A Tale of Two Systems: Gauging the Extent of Overlapping Services Systems Use by Homeless Veterans

Tuesday, November 9, 2010 : 2:45 PM - 3:00 PM

Stephen Metraux, MA, PhD , Department of Health Policy & Public Health, University of the Sciences in Philadelphia, Philadelphia, PA
Homeless persons who are veterans differ from their non-veteran counterparts in having access not only to the general homeless services available in a particular jurisdiction, but also to a range of homeless services, ranging from health care to transitional and permanent housing, provided by the Department for Veterans Affairs and available only to veterans. While this gives veterans a richer array of services to choose from, it also creates challenges for assessing the size of the homeless veteran population as the mainstream and VA homeless services operate as two distinct systems with separate record keeping procedures. An examination of each system only provides a partial portrait of the veteran population, and the extent to which veterans make use of both systems is unclear. This study examines these issues by matching administrative data from mainstream homeless services and from VA homeless services in four cities: Philadelphia; Columbus OH, Tampa FL, and New York City. Results will produce an integrated profile of the veteran homeless population providing insights into the size and characteristics of this population, as well as into the patterns of their services use. This will assist in planning services across these systems and as a basis for better coordinating care for these veterans.

Learning Areas:
Program planning
Public health or related public policy

Learning Objectives:
1. Provide a brief overview of homelessness among veterans and services available to them. 2. Demonstrate an integrated approach to obtaining comprehensive information on local homeless veteran populations. 3. Create increased awareness for the capacity of administrative data to act as a means to initiate improved services coordination.

Keywords: Homelessness, Veterans

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am qualified to be an abstract author due to my extensive research and publication in the area of homelessness.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.