The objective of this study was to examine type of services U.S. veterans seek when they experience homelessness, characteristics associated with service use, and reasons for not using services. Data from a 2021 nationally representative survey of 1004 low-income U.S. veterans were analyzed with descriptive and multivariable analyses. One-quarter of low-income U.S. veterans with experiences of homelessness reported using homeless services while they were homeless and about 27% reported using U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) healthcare or benefits while homeless. Black and Hispanic veterans were more likely to use both homeless services and VA services while homeless than veterans of other race/ethnic groups. The most common barriers to services were: veterans felt they did not need help, they did not have information about services, there was stigma and shame, and transportation barriers were encountered. These findings suggest veterans use various VA and community-based homeless and healthcare services, but they do experience barriers that may be improved with better public information and care coordination to improve service uptake among homeless veterans.
Service use and barriers to care among homeless veterans: Results from the National Veteran Homeless and Other Poverty Experiences (NV-HOPE) study
Journal of Community Psychology