National Comparison of Literally Homeless Male and Female VA Service Users: Entry Characteristics, Clinical Needs, and Service Patterns.
ABSTRACT Although there are growing numbers of homeless female U.S. veterans, the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) has traditionally served a predominantly male population; thus, it is important to examine differences between homeless female and male veterans in their service needs and the current provision of VA homeless services.
A national registry of 119,947 users of VA homeless services from 2011 to 2012 was used to 1) estimate the proportion of female veterans among VA homeless service users, 2) examine the proportion of VA homeless service users who are literally homeless by gender, and 3) report differences between female and male VA homeless service users who are literally homeless on sociodemographic and clinical characteristics, as well as on outreach, referral, and admission patterns for an array of specialized VA services.
Of VA homeless service users, 8% were female compared with 7% among all homeless veterans, 6% among all VA service users, and 7% among all veterans. Of female VA homeless service users, 54% were literally homeless, slightly fewer than the 59% of male VA homeless service users. Comparing literally homeless VA service users, females were younger, 21% more had dependent children, 8% more were diagnosed with non-military-related posttraumatic stress disorder, and 19% to 20% more were referred and admitted to VA's supported housing program than males.
Female veterans use VA homeless services at a rate similar to their use of general VA services and they have unique needs, especially for child care, which may require additional specialized resources.
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ABSTRACT: A review of the relevant literature is followed by an exploration of the complex relationship, especially for women, between homelessness and mental health. Various mental health and gender-related concerns that have implications for the design of interventions for homeless women are explored.American Journal of Orthopsychiatry 08/1993; 63(3):385-99. DOI:10.1037/h0079445 · 1.50 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Homeless women are very different from homeless men, but few studies have reported data separately on them or compared them directly with men. This report on a study of 600 homeless men and 300 homeless women in St. Louis presents comparison data on these populations. The pivotal difference between homeless men and women was that unlike men, most women had young children in their custody. The women were also younger than men, more likely to be members of a minority group, and more often dependent on welfare. They had been homeless for a shorter period and spent less time in unsheltered locations. Compared to men, they had less frequent histories of substance abuse, incarceration, and felony conviction. Solitary women (without children with them), compared to women with children in their custody, were more likely to be white, had been homeless longer, and more often had a history of alcoholism or schizophrenia. On most variables, values for solitary women lay somewhere between those for men and for women with children. The population of homeless women is therefore heterogeneous, with at least two subgroups. These groups are likely to benefit from intervention programs that are designed to address their specific problems and needs, which are not necessarily the same as those of homeless men.Community Mental Health Journal 11/1993; 29(5):423-31. DOI:10.1007/BF00754410 · 1.03 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: To identify risk and protective factors for family homelessness, a case-control study of homeless and low-income, never-homeless families, all female-headed, was conducted. Homeless mothers (n = 220) were enrolled from family shelters in Worcester, Mass. Low-income housed mothers receiving welfare (n = 216) formed the comparison group. The women completed an interview covering socioeconomic, social support, victimization, mental health, substance use, and health domains. Childhood predictors of family homelessness included foster care placement and respondent's mother's use of drugs. Independent risk factors in adulthood included minority status, recent move to Worcester, recent eviction, interpersonal conflict, frequent alcohol or heroin use, and recent hospitalization for a mental health problem. Protective factors included being a primary tenant, receiving cash assistance or a housing subsidy, graduating from high school, and having a larger social network. Factors that compromise an individual's economic and social resources are associated with greater risk of losing one's home.American Journal of Public Health 03/1997; 87(2):241-8. DOI:10.2105/AJPH.87.2.241 · 4.23 Impact Factor