Women Veterans and Homelessness After Military Service

Women veterans are the fastest-growing demographic of homeless veterans in America today. Far from being a well-understood phenomenon, most people would be hard-pressed to even include women veterans in the overall picture of veteran homelessness — or recognize their unique risk factors and survival strategies. There’s no solid sense of even how many women veterans are homeless, because the choices they make when they are experiencing unstable housing, such as sleeping on couches at friends’ and family’s homes until their welcome runs out, leaves them generally out of the federal count of and excluded from public notice or the resources that they and often their dependent children with them need. The recent series in the Huffington Post aims to change that, by addressing their invisibility directly.

Huffington Post’s series is an effort to “change the narrative” about who becomes homeless, and moving it away from a subject of pity and concern to one of empathy with the survivors, who are remarkable women with important stories to tell.

Homeless women veterans are nothing like their male veteran counterparts in how and why they experience homelessness — so in intervening effectively and providing much-needed services, the “old model” of who homeless veterans are needs to be tossed out and replaced with a much more inclusive model that addresses women veterans as unique. There are more than 2 million women veterans alive today in the U.S., and a portion of them will need our greater awareness of the very normality of their struggle with unstable housing, and the creation and delivery of resources that actually meet their needs, starting with trauma-informed outreach and housing options.

Population of Focus: Women Veterans, homeless or at-risk of becoming homeless

Links to Huffington Post Series:

Additional resources from the Huffington Post project:

Date: 2017