We Served Too – Homeless Female Veterans

Affordable Housing Ends
Female Veterans Homelessness

We Served Too – Homeless Female VeteransA January 2015 Shelterforce article, “We Served Too” reports on the growing population of homeless female veterans.

Women make up 8% of the veteran population, yet the number has doubled from 2006 to 2010 to a total of 3,328 homeless female veterans.

The 2013 point in time count of the homeless found 4,456 homeless female veterans.

“When a woman is homeless, it tends to be a family issue.”

Said Rick Ochocki is development manager at Veterans Village San Diego (VVSD.)

The causes of homelessness among female veterans are often different than the causes of homelessness among their male counterparts.

“According to a 2010 study of the health effects of military service on women published by the Journal of Health Care for the Poor and Underserved, several factors have been found to be associated with the experience of homelessness among women veterans, including: unemployment, disability, post-traumatic stress disorders, anxiety disorders, and history of sexual assault during military service.”

The piece profiles female veterans who have eventually found stable housing and support through the U.S. Dept. of Housing and Urban Development (HUD)-Veteran Affairs Supportive Housing (VASH) program.

‘The solution is more affordable housing for female veterans. Once we’re on the street, it’s too late. They’re sleeping in cars, staying in situations where they are getting beaten because it’s better than the alternative.’”

Said Jas Boothe, founder and president of Final Salute, a housing and service provider and advocacy organization for women veterans headquartered in Virginia. She hopes that other veteran service providers will do more outreach to women and encourage them to apply.

A key to ending homelessness is the full restoration of all the housing vouchers lost to the sequester. Vouchers are a stepping stone that help families with children, seniors, and people with disabilities keep a roof over their head and make ends meet.

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