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Veterans Experience Homelessness at Twice the National Rate


To meet the goal of ending veteran homelessness in five years as set forth in Opening Doors: Federal Strategic Plan to Prevent and End Homelessness, the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) has been working with local communities and the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) to strengthen what we know about homeless veterans. This effort in collecting better data has established a mandatory annual Veteran’s Supplemental Report to the Annual Homeless Assessment Report (AHAR), first compiled for 2009, which taken in conjunction with the 2009 Point-in-Time (PIT) Count data shows that veterans across the country are twice as prone to homelessness as the non-veteran public.

These data sources, which will enable policymakers to better target resources and assess progress in ending and preventing homelessness, go further than a general overview of veterans homelessness and detail which specific sub-groups of veterans are at the greatest risk of experiencing homelessness when compared with the total US adult population, all poor adults, all adult nonveterans, and all poor nonveterans. The data tells us that:

  1. Female veterans are at greater risk of homelessness than male veterans and are two to three times more likely to be homeless than any of the comparison groups.
  2. Hispanic/Latino, African American and Native American veterans are more likely to be homeless than nonminority veterans, especially among those who are poor.
  3. Veterans between the ages of 18 and 30 are twice as likely to be homeless as adults in the overall US population and the risk of homelessness increases significantly among those who are poor.
  4. 97% of homeless veterans residing in shelters are individuals; only 3% are part of a family unit.
  5. Female veterans in families are at higher risk of becoming homeless when compared with their male counterparts.

HUD recently released the 2010 AHAR, and anticipates the release of the accompanying Veteran’s Supplemental Report to the AHAR later this summer.

To Learn More:
The report: Veteran Homelessness: A Supplemental Report to the 2009 Annual Homeless Assessment Report to Congress
The 2010 Annual Homeless Assessment Report to Congress


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