Subject: RE: One in three veterans are homeless
Date: Thu, 16 Dec 2010 16:35:57 -0600
From: Duncan McGhee
Reply-To:
Organization: Texas Veterans Commission
To: 'Gardner Selby' <wgselby@statesman.com>


Good afternoon Gardner,

...I suppose I need to begin with a disclaimer that
the information I am providing is NOT Texas Veterans Commission data but are
sources we use for compiling data. A stated initiative for the Texas
Veterans Commission is to identify homeless veterans throughout the state
and provide them assistance. As you may suspect, the transient nature of
the homeless makes capturing exact figures a challenge but I believe you
will find the following resources helpful:

Page 11-3 of the following link states: "Among homeless men, 33 percent
report being veterans, and a very high proportion (98 percent)
of homeless veterans are men."
http://www.huduser.org/portal/publications/pdf/home_tech/tchap-11.pdf


At the bottom of the first page, first column of the following site it
states in bullet form:
"33% of male homeless population are veterans"
http://nchv.org/docs/HomelessVeterans_factsheet.pdf

5:05 pm, Dec. 16, 2010:

Gardner,

Some additional data and another link. First, allow me to address the
statistic you referenced re: 20(ish) percent of homeless. That figure is
contrasted against the TOTAL homeless population including children.
Ericka's comment reflected the ratio of male veteran homeless to the male
civilian homeless: "One out of three homeless men in the United States are
veterans, Walmsley said, citing data from the Veterans Administration." The
following is another source that presents a fairly objective, if lengthy
study on the veteran homeless situation. You are free to read the entire
report but if you want to zero in on the data of interest I would cover
Section IV that begins on Page 21 and ends on Page 26 (pages 25-29 if you're
using the pdf counter which counts cover page and TOC):
http://www1.va.gov/HOMELESS/docs/chaleng/chaleng_sixteenth_annual_report.pdf

7:27 pm, Dec. 28, 2010:

Again, I must reiterate, the statement made was “1 in 3 homeless males are veterans”. The HUD document you reference specifically targets “sheltered homeless” which provides a somewhat one dimensional view of the homeless population. I would recommend visiting the National Alliance to End Homelessness and view their composite data on all homeless, especially as it pertains to veterans: http://www.endhomelessness.org/content/article/detail/1839.

The documents located at the End Homelessness site utilize the same Continuum of Care (CoC) source data for the total homeless counts and incorporate more comprehensive, veteran specific data generated by the VA. For example, the HUD document you referenced states:

“Thirteen percent of sheltered homeless adults were veterans, a lower percentage than has been reported elsewhere. There are several possible explanations for this discrepancy. First, the PIT data on veteran status are only for sheltered homeless people, and homeless veterans may be more likely to be unsheltered than other homeless people. If so, the percentage of sheltered homeless people who are veterans would be lower than the percentage of all homeless people who are veterans. Second, in some areas of the country, residential programs for the homeless that are funded through the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs do not report data to the CoC. Finally, there is anecdotal evidence that homeless veterans sometimes do not divulge their veteran status to homeless program staff.”

Again, I must emphasize, Erica was quoted; “1 in 3 homeless males are veterans”. The above passage references “sheltered homeless adults” and 1) acknowledges that in all likelihood the veteran population as they report it is most likely under represented as “homeless veterans may be more likely to be unsheltered than other homeless people” and 2) makes no distinction as to gender .

Homelessness, no matter the population, is something we should all take seriously. However, evidence pointing to veterans comprising a disproportionate percentage of the homeless population is fairly substantial and an objective review of the evidence seems to support Erica’s statement. I look forward to the day when such is not the case.