Homeless Female Vets on the Rise

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The Department of Veterans Affairs has made stamping out homelessness among the nation’s veterans a top priority. According to this new Government Accountability Office report, it has its work cut out for it (despite some recent good news). “Limited VA data show that the number of women veterans the agency identified as homeless more than doubled between FY 2006 and FY 2010,” the report says. “In FY 2010, homeless women veterans were commonly middle-aged, divorced, unemployed, or newly homeless. Many of these women also had disabilities.”

Because the data are so limited, the GAO warns that its sample probably cannot be applied to the entire female vet population. Women have grown as a share of the veteran population from 4% in 1990 to 8% today. Female vets may be more likely to be homeless than men because “they have disabling psychological conditions, such as Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder and Major Depressive Disorder, often resulting from experiencing military sexual trauma, or are single mothers facing challenges with readjustment to civilian life.”