Do Homeless Veterans Have the Same Needs and Outcomes as Non-Veterans?

VA New England Mental Illness Research, Education, and Clinical Center, West Haven, CT 06516, USA.
Military medicine (Impact Factor: 0.77). 01/2012; 177(1):27-31. DOI: 10.7205/MILMED-D-11-00128
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Although veterans have been found to be at increased risk for homelessness as compared to non-veterans, it is not clear whether those who are homeless have more severe health problems or poorer outcomes in community-based supported housing. This observational study compared 162 chronically homeless veterans to 388 non-veterans enrolled in a national-supported housing initiative over a 1-year period. Results showed that veterans tended to be older, were more likely to be in the Vietnam era age group, to be male, and were more likely to have completed high school than other chronically homeless adults. There were no differences between veterans and non-veterans on housing or clinical status at baseline or at follow-up, but both groups showed significant improvement over time. These findings suggest that the greater risk of homelessness among veterans does not translate into more severe problems or treatment outcomes. Supported housing programs are similarly effective for veterans and non-veterans.

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