270219 Economic Indicators and Homeless Program Outcomes

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

John Schinka, PhD , 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 for this study were provided by the VA Northeast Program Evaluation Center and consisted of records of individuals receiving services in community-based housing intervention programs supported by the VA Grant and Per Diem program during 2000-2010. This program defrays the cost of housing support/supportive services for up to two years and is designed as a transitional program leading to permanent housing. The dataset was derived from comprehensive intake, admission, discharge, and facility descriptor data. Analyses were based on a dataset consisting of 100,167 records for 68,921 veterans who were admitted to one of 435 provider programs. In these analyses we examined the relationship of economic indicators to characteristics of homeless veterans on program admission and to housing intervention outcomes. We specifically examined the national unemployment rate (UER) and the gross domestic product (GDP). These indicatorss provide different perspectives on the state of the economy, as shown by a correlation of .50 (25% shared common variance) over the time frame for our data. Significant, but small, differences in veteran characteristics (e.g., age, alcohol abuse) were found in poor (high UER, declining GDP) versus good (low UER, increasing GDP) periods. Outcomes (completion of the housing intervention program, obtaining a residence, obtaining employment) were substantially enhanced by entering a housing intervention program when the UER was low and the GDP was rising. Surprisingly, the length of stay was longer for admissions during these periods. We present results of more detailed analyses examining the relationship among economic indicators, length of stay, and outcomes.

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

Learning Objectives:
Identify two economic indicators that are associated with housing intervention outcomes in homeless veterans

Keywords: Homelessness, 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.