As a result of efforts to end homelessness among U.S. veterans, more former service members are entering permanent supportive housing (PSH). While PSH has been successfully used to house homeless veterans, more research is needed about services beyond housing placement and retention. This study uses the Gelberg-Andersen behavioral model for vulnerable populations to determine associations between predisposing, enabling, and need characteristics and recent service use (i.e., services to satisfy basic needs, occupational development, financial, healthcare, mental health) among unaccompanied homeless veterans (N=126) entering PSH in Los Angeles. Among the significant findings, as indicated using univariable logistic regression models, were veterans who had incarceration histories were more likely to utilize basic needs services, compared to those without incarceration histories. Veterans who received an honorable discharge were more likely to utilize occupational development services, compared to veterans with other discharge statuses. Veterans who had a case manager were more likely to utilize mental health services than those without a case manager, while those who received social security were less likely to utilize mental health services compared to veterans who did not receive social security. Veterans who met criteria for a psychological disability and veterans who met criteria for probable PTSD were more likely to use basic needs services and mental health services than veterans who fell below these thresholds. Clinical implications for social workers including “equal access to services,” “enhancing economic stability,” “providing safe and affordable housing with trauma-informed services,” and “training service social workers to deliver well-informed linkages and services” are discussed.
Moving Beyond Housing: Service Implications for Veterans Entering Permanent Supportive Housing
Clinical Social Work Journal