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Demographic characteristics associated with homelessness and risk among female and male veterans accessing VHA outpatient care.

Montgomery AE, Dichter ME, Thomasson AM, Fu X, Roberts CB. Demographic characteristics associated with homelessness and risk among female and male veterans accessing VHA outpatient care. Women's health issues : official publication of the Jacobs Institute of Women's Health. 2015 Jan 1; 25(1):42-8.

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Abstract:

BACKGROUND: This study explored demographic influences on veterans' reports of homelessness or imminent risk of homelessness with a particular focus on gender. METHODS: We analyzed data for a cohort of veterans who responded to the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), Veterans Health Administration (VHA) universal screener for homelessness and risk during a 3-month period. Multinomial mixed effects models-stratified by gender-predicted veterans' reports of homelessness or risk based on age, race, marital status, and receipt of VA compensation. FINDINGS: The proportion of positive screens-homelessness or risk-was 2.7% for females and 1.7% for males. Women more likely to report being at risk of homelessness were aged 35 to 54 years, Black, and unmarried; those more likely to experience homelessness were Black and unmarried. Among male veterans, the greatest predictors of both homelessness and risk were Black race and unmarried status. Among both genders, receiving VA disability compensation was associated with lesser odds of being homeless or at risk. CONCLUSIONS: The findings describe the current population of veterans using VHA health care services who may benefit from homelessness prevention or intervention services, identify racial differences in housing stability, and distinguish subpopulations who may be in particular need of intervention. Interventions to address these needs are described.





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