On October 28, 2010, HUD and the VA jointly released the second annual Veteran’s Annual Homelessness Assessment Report (AHAR), which assesses the nation’s homeless veteran population. HUD and VA use this information in their work to end veteran’s homelessness through the Federal Strategic Plan, Opening Doors.
Opening Doors is an unprecedented federal strategy to end veteran and chronic homelessness by 2015 and homelessness among children, families and youth by 2020.
On a single night in January 2010, 76,329 veterans were living in emergency shelter, in transitional housing, or in an unsheltered place (e.g., on the streets, in cars, or in abandoned buildings). Approximately 57 percent of those homeless on a single night were sheltered—in emergency shelter or transitional housing—and 43 percent were unsheltered.
During a 12-month period (October 2009 through September 2010), an estimated 144,842 veterans spent at least 1 night in emergency shelter or transitional housing programs, accounting for 11.5 percent of all homeless adults.
In 2010, homeless veterans accounted for 1 in 150 veterans and about 1 in 9 veterans living in poverty.
Most homeless veterans over the course of the year were individuals, living alone without a dependent child (98 percent).
Homeless veterans are largely white men, between the ages of 31 and 61, with a disability.
Female veterans are at especially high risk of homelessness, and the risk increases considerably if the female veteran is poor. Female veterans are more than twice as likely to be homeless as female non-veterans, and female veterans in poverty are more than three times as likely to be homeless as female non-veterans in poverty.
Whether veterans are over or underrepresented among the homeless population in each state can be seen by comparing the proportion of veterans among the homeless population to the proportion of veterans among the general population. In 24 states, on a single night in January 2010, veterans were underrepresented or equally represented in the homeless population compared to the state’s population. The states with the greatest underrepresentation were Maine, Oregon, New Jersey, and Hawaii.