Characteristics and likelihood of ongoing homelessness among unsheltered veterans
Montgomery, Ann Elizabeth
Byrne, Thomas H.
Culhane, Dennis P.
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CitationAnn Elizabeth Montgomery, Thomas H Byrne, Daniel Treglia, Dennis P Culhane. 2016. "Characteristics and Likelihood of Ongoing Homelessness Among Unsheltered Veterans." Journal of Health Care for the Poor and Underserved, Volume 27, Issue 2, pp. 911 - 922.
INTRODUCTION: Unsheltered homelessness is an important phenomenon yet difficult to study due to lack of data. The Veterans Health Administration administers a universal homelessness screener, which identifies housing status for Veterans screening positive for homelessness. METHODS: This study compared unsheltered and sheltered Veterans, assessed differences in rates of ongoing homelessness, and estimated a mixed-effect logistic regression model to examine the relationship between housing status and ongoing homelessness. RESULTS: Eleven percent of Veterans who screened positive for homelessness were unsheltered; 40% of those who rescreened were homeless six months later, compared with less than 20% of sheltered Veterans. Unsheltered Veterans were 2.7 times as likely to experience ongoing homelessness. DISCUSSION: Unsheltered Veterans differ from their sheltered counterparts-they are older, more likely to be male, less likely to have income-and may be good candidates for an intensive housing intervention. Future research will assess clinical characteristics and services utilization among this population.