Homelessness among veterans and the contributing risk factor

Homelessness Among Veterans UMUC, BEHS 495

 Social Problem

Homelessness among veterans and the contributing risk factors.









 Introduction

The definition of homeless is “having no

home or permanent place of residence.”

Merriam-Webster (2016) On any given

night there are approximately 50,000

homeless veterans. Veterans who have no

permanent housing, who live with

relatives, in shelters, or on the streets.

There are several risk factors which

contribute to homelessness, mental and

physical health, substance use/abuse, lack

of education, the inability to secure

adequate housing or employment.
















 Objectives  Discussion

 Methods


 Social Science Disciplines

Sociology, Psychology, and Political

Science are the social science disciplines

most relevant for this social issue.







 Questions

How do factors such as mental and

physical health, substance abuse,

employment, gender, education and

training contribute to homelessness

among veterans?





 Discussion

treatment programs with educational and

job training. “MISSION is a 12-month,

wraparound intervention developed

specifically to meet the needs of veterans

who have experienced homelessness

and/or whose ability to return to

independent community living is further

complicated by COD (Co-occurring

Disorders).” Smelson et al. (2013) It is

vital to continue to improve upon

programs and recognize specific needs

among veterans in order to combat


 Recommendations


“Theoretical formulations and prior

research on veterans exposed to combat

trauma have found that combat trauma

increases risk for homelessness

indirectly, through substance abuse,

psychiatric disorder, and low social

support.” Carlson et al. (2013)

Additionally in recent years it has been

necessary to take into consideration

gender with more females serving in the

military and an increase of homelessness

among female veterans. “The experiences

of female military personnel have been

found to be different from those of men

with respect to combat exposure, sexual

assault, and interpersonal stressors

these categories of potential trauma and

the frequencies at which they are

experienced are likely to be different from

those of homeless male veterans.” Tsai et

al. (2012) Female veterans are also more

likely to be single parents, who do not

meet the criteria for transitional housing

which is typically dormitory style.

“Women are often thought to be

uncomfortable in the male-dominated VA

environment but may do just as well in

HUD-VASH, perhaps because it offers

non-institutional living.” Tsai et al. (2014)

A significant number of homeless

veterans suffer from co-occurring

disorders such as PTSD and substance

abuse. MISSION and TAU are outpatient

programs which provide support for co-

occurring disorders and prepare the

veterans for life following residential

 Programs

V.A. (The Department of Veterans Affairs)

MISSION (Maintaining Independence and

Sobriety through System Integration

Outreach and Networking)

TAU (Treatment as Usual)

HUD-VASH (Housing and Urban

Development-Veteran Affairs Supportive


                                   

To identify risk factors contributing to

homelessness among veterans and develop

programs to assist veterans who are

currently homeless and employ better

strategies to prevent veterans from

becoming homeless.

Research was conducted by using existing

administrative data provided by the VA

(Veterans Affairs). Along with the use of

information provided by the VA veterans in

various stages of homelessness were

interviewed. Many of which were in some

sort of transitional housing at the time of the

interview. Veterans from multiple service

eras were interviewed, spanning from the

Vietnam era to the OIF (Operation Iraqi

Freedom) /OEF (Operation Enduring

Freedom) era.

Prevention is ideal, developing programs

to reach veterans long before

homelessness is even an option,

programs to help assess health,

education and training, and assist with

housing and employment prior to

discharge from military service.

Providing services for currently

homeless veterans to break the cycle and

provide a means of recovery by

identifying the specific needs of the

veterans. While programs currently exist

there is always room for improvement,

and our veterans are worth the effort




 Carlson, E. B., Garvert, D. W., Macia, K. S., Ruzek, J. I., & Burling, T. A. (2013). Traumatic stressor exposure and post-traumatic symptoms in homeless veterans. Military Medicine, 178(9), 970-973. doi:10.7205/MILMED-D-13-00080

 Creech, S. K., Johnson, E., Borgia, M., Bourgault, C., Redihan, S., & O’Toole, T. P. (2015). IDENTIFYING MENTAL AND PHYSICAL HEALTH CORRELATES OF HOMELESSNESS AMONG FIRST-TIME AND CHRONICALLY HOMELESS VETERANS. Journal Of Community Psychology, 43(5), 619-627. doi:10.1002/jcop.21707

 Metraux, S., Clegg, L. X., Daigh, J. D., Culhane, D. P., & Kane, V. (2013). Risk Factors for Becoming Homeless Among a Cohort of Veterans Who Served in the Era of the Iraq and Afghanistan Conflicts. American Journal Of Public Health, 103(S2), S255-S261. doi:10.2105/AJPH. 2013.301432

 Peterson, R., Gundlapalli, A. V., Metraux, S., Carter, M. E., Palmer, M., Redd, A., & … Fargo, J. D. (2015). Identifying Homelessness among Veterans Using VA Administrative Data: Opportunities to Expand Detection Criteria. Plos One, 10(7), e0132664. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0132664

 Schinka, J. A., Schinka, K. C., Casey, R. J., Kasprow, W., & Bossarte, R. M. (2012). Suicidal Behavior in a National Sample of Older Homeless Veterans. American Journal Of Public Health, 102(S1), S147-S153

 Smelson, D. A., Kline, A., Kuhn, J., Rodrigues, S., O’Connor, K., Fisher, W., & … Kane, V. (2013). A wraparound treatment engagement intervention for homeless veterans with co-occurring disorders. Psychological Services, 10(2), 161-167. doi:10.1037/a0030948

 Tsai, J., Rosenheck, R., Decker, S., Desai, R., & Harpaz-Rotem, I. (2012). Trauma experience among homeless female veterans: correlates and impact on housing, clinical, and psychosocial outcomes. Journal Of Traumatic Stress, 25(6), 624-632. doi:10.1002/jts.21750

 Tsai, J., & Rosenheck, R. A. (2013). Homeless veterans in supported housing: Exploring the impact of criminal history. Psychological Services, 10(4), 452-458. doi:10.1037/a0032775

 Tsai, J., Rosenheck, R. A., & Kane, V. (2014). Homeless female U.S. veterans in a national supported housing program: comparison of individual characteristics and outcomes with male veterans. Psychological Services, 11(3), 309-316. doi:10.1037/a0036323

 (2015). Retrieved October 2, 2016, from http://www.merriam-webster.com/

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