270201 Successful outomes in transitional housing intervention programs for veterans: Length of stay is critical

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

John Schinka, PhD , National Center on Homelessness among Veterans, Tampa, FL
Stephanie George, LCSW , National Center on Homelessness Among Veterans, Tampa, FL
Roger Casey, PhD , National Center on Homeless Among Veterans, Tampa, FL
Wes Kasprow, PhD , Homeless Programs, VA Northeast Program Evaluation Center, West Haven, CT
Data were provided by the VA Northeast Program Evaluation Center (NEPEC) and consisted of records of veterans receiving services in community-based housing intervention programs supported by the VA Grant and Per Diem (GPD) program. The program provides housing for up to two years and is designed as a transitional program leading to permanent housing. Homeless Veterans typically enter the program from the street of a shelter, but may move into GPD housing directly from a halfway house or other short term housing situations. We analyzed a dataset based on discharge record variables (e.g., work status, housing status, medical discharge, etc.). The dataset for analysis included the records of 62,499 veterans. Almost all were male (98.1%). The mean length of stay was approximately 5 months. Results showed that 32,152 (51.8%) completed the program, while 30,250 (48.5%) did not. Completers had a mean length of stay of 6.5 months; non-completers a mean length of stay of 3.6 months. At the mean length of stay for all veterans (5 months) 82% of non-completers had left their programs, while only 59% of eventual completers had been discharged. By month 7, 90% of non-completers had left their programs. For the completer group to achieve a 90% discharge rate required 14 months.

More detailed analyses of length of stay data that address the time period required for successful program completion can inform decisions about use of program resources. We discuss implications of distributions of discharge data for resource allocation and refinement of housing intervention program goals.

Learning Areas:
Public health administration or related administration
Public health or related research
Social and behavioral sciences

Learning Objectives:
Describe the relationship between length of stay in housing intervention programs and outcomes in older homeless veterans

Keywords: Homeless, Veterans' Health

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am the Director of Research for the VA 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.