Veterans

Health and Homelessness among Veterans: Development & Pilot of a Military History Screening Tool (2015) | Accurate knowledge of veteran status is essential, as veterans may qualify for a number of Veteran Affair’s (VA) services and benefits that can resolve their health conditions and/or experiences of homelessness. Moreover, information regarding military service may be clinically significant to Health Care for the Homeless (HCH) providers, as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), traumatic brain injury (TBI), sexual trauma and certain toxic environmental exposures are common among veterans. In 2013, the National HCH Council conducted a veterans needs assessment which revealed that though providers are inquiring about veteran status, their methods in doing so were inconsistent and not culturally appropriate. Based on these findings, staff at the National HCH Council in collaboration with VA experts developed and piloted a Military History Screening Tool for its use by HCH programs and potentially other organizations. This report includes the steps used in developing the tool and presents results of the pilot conducted in Boston, MA

Connecting Veterans to Social Security Disability Benefits: A Key Component to Ending Veteran Homelessness (2014) | Connecting Veterans with Social Security Administration (SSA) disability benefits is a critical step to increasing income stability for Veterans and their families, as well as providing health insurance for those who do not qualify for Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) health care. Veterans may be eligible for Supplemental Security Income (SSI) or Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) in conjunction with, or as an alternative to, VA disability compensation. Veterans may also use the Medicaid and Medicare health benefits that come with SSI/SSDI to supplement VA health services. Published by SSI/SSDI Outreach, Access and Recovery (SOAR).

A Troubled Homecoming: Understanding and Treating Veterans Experiencing Homelessness (2014) | The latest issue of Healing Hands (Fall 2014) addresses specific health concerns and health care access challenges for veterans experiencing homelessness.

Funding for Veteran-Specific Services: A Quick Guide on Funding Opportunities for HCH Grantees (2014) | This quick guide provides an overview of federal programs offering funding for veteran services, including Community-Based Outpatient Clinics, the Supportive Services for Veteran Families Program, the VA Homeless Providers Grant and Per Diem Program, the HUD-VA Supportive Housing program, and the Homeless Veterans’ Reintegration Program. Though most applicable to the work of HCH administrators and grants managers, this content is valuable for anyone interested in obtaining additional financial resources to support services provided to veterans.”

HCH-VA Collaboration Quick Guide: Joining Forces to Coordinate Care for Unstably Housed Veterans (2013)| The purpose of this quick guide is to assist Health Care for the Homeless (HCH) grantees with their efforts to establish and strengthen collaborations with local Veterans Affairs Medical Centers (VAMCs). Many HCH grantees are already collaborating with VAMCs to coordinate care for veterans and utilize the wealth of services, benefits, and expertise available from VAMCs, but there is room for improvement in these partnerships. This quick guide discusses the federal goal to end veteran homelessness and how HCH grantees can contribute to this cause. There are sections on federal priorities for collaboration that involve community partners, the current state of HCH-VA partnerships, and promising practices for HCH-VA collaborations that are currently being utilized by some HCH grantees.

Health and Homelessness among Veterans: A Needs Assessment of HCH Grantees (2013) | The National Health Care for the Homeless Council has released a final report on its multiphase veterans needs assessment. While most research on veterans experiencing homelessness is focused on those accessing care in the Veterans Administration (VA) setting, this study examines the subset of the veteran population accessing care from health care for the homeless grantees. Through key expert interviews and focus groups that culminated in a survey of HCH grantees, this study explored veteran demographics, health status, service utilization, unmet needs, and factors influencing preference for HCH services as well as the processes used by HCH grantees to identify consumers with veteran status and the nature of collaborations between HCH grantees and VA medical centers.

Health and Homelessness among Veterans: Experiences of HCH Grantees (2012) | Over 22,000 veterans received services from Health Care for the Homeless grantees in 2011, yet existing research is predominantly focused on unstably housed veterans served by the Veterans Health Administration. To examine the characteristics and needs of veterans within the HCH setting, the National HCH Council launched a veterans research initiative in December 2011. In phase 1 of the initiative, the National HCH Council conducted key expert interviews and focus groups with HCH clinicians and administrators to learn more about veterans accessing HCH services. This report presents the major themes that resulted from the qualitative research, which will inform future phases of the veterans research initiative.

Health & Homeless Among Women Veterans (2012) | This Research Update from the National HCH Council provides a focused literature review on health and homelessness among women veterans in the United States. This topic is gaining increasing attention in research, public policy, and the media due to rising levels of deployment and an elevated risk of homelessness among women veterans.

Homeless Veterans & Access to Health Care (2009) | This workshop was presented at the 2009 National HCH Conference & Policy Symposium in Washington, DC, by the National Coalition for Homeless Veterans and the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs.

Focus on Homeless Veterans

This issue of the Homelessness Research Institute’s Quarterly Research Newsletter focuses on homelessness among veterans and features an Expert Q&A with Robert Rosenheck, Professor of Psychiatry, Epidemiology, and Public Health at Yale and member of the Alliance’s Research Council. You will also find a summary of the key findings of the 2008 Data and Policy Update of the Alliance’s 2007 report on homelessness among veterans, Vital Mission, as well as additional regular research newsletter features. Fall 2009

Additional Resources

Supportive Services for Homeless Veteran Families

Resources for Homeless Veteran Service Providers

Best Practices: Sharing Information to End Veteran Homelessness

VA Health Benefits Resource

VA Homeless Materials Center

USICH Solutions Database section on Using HUD-VASH to End Veteran Homelessness

Resources from the National Center on Family Homelessness