219577 2009 Annual Homelessness Assessment Report's Veterans Supplement: A Clearer Picture of Homeless Veterans

Tuesday, November 9, 2010 : 3:30 PM - 3:45 PM

Ellen Munley , National Center on Homelessness among Veterans, Veterans Health Administration, Philadelphia, PA
Satyendra Patrabansh, MPP , Abt Associates Inc., Bethesda, MD
Larry Buron, PhD , Abt Associates, Inc., Cambridge, MA
Gretchen Locke, MA , Abt Associates Inc., Cambridge, MA
Emily Holt, MPP , Abt Associates, Inc., Bethesda, MD
The Annual Homelessness Assessment Report (AHAR) provides counts and demographic characteristics of homeless individuals and families, information on their shelter use, and description of shelter and residential programs. The 2009 AHAR will be the first to contain a supplemental report on homeless veterans. Those targeting services to homeless veterans, advocating for increased subsidies and services to this population, or assessing the effectiveness of programs for homeless veterans are particularly interested in the demographics of homeless veterans, whether veteran status increases risk of homelessness, and how veteran homelessness is distributed nationwide. Answers have been limited by incomplete data on homelessness within the population of veterans, and on veteran status within the homeless population. The new Veterans Supplement to the AHAR offers more complete data, as three hundred and fifty communities forming a nationally representative sample will report unduplicated counts of sheltered homeless veterans, their demographic characteristics, and patterns of shelter use, providing a current picture of veteran homelessness and establishing a basis for observing future changes in rates and patterns of homelessness for veterans and veteran subgroups. We compare the demographic characteristics and shelter use of sheltered homeless veterans to those of the total veteran population, and to those of the total sheltered homeless population, evaluate these findings in the context of previous research on homeless veterans, and discuss implications for policy design. We discuss remaining flaws in the data and the utility of the 2009 data as a baseline measure for future changes.

Learning Areas:
Public health or related public policy

Learning Objectives:
1. Identify demographic characteristics and shelter-use patterns of sheltered homeless veterans. 2. Compare demographics of sheltered homeless veterans with those of the sheltered homeless population and the total veteran population. 3. Discuss these findings in the context of previous research on homeless veterans.

Keywords: Homeless, Veterans

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am part of a research team that is charged with collecting, organizing, and analyzing data on homeless veterans at the National Center on Homelessness Among Veterans.
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.