Overrepresentation of women veterans among homeless women

Am J Public Health. 2003 Jul;93(7):1132-6. doi: 10.2105/ajph.93.7.1132.


Objectives: This study estimated the proportion of veterans among homeless women and their risk of homelessness relative to that of nonveterans.

Methods: Data came from 2 surveys of homeless women (1 clinical and 1 nonclinical) and 1 survey of domiciled women.

Results: The proportion of veterans (4.4%, 3.1%) among homeless women was greater than the proportion among domiciled women (1.3%, 1.2%). When we computed odds ratios for being a veteran among homeless women compared with nonhomeless women, homeless women were significantly more likely than nonhomeless women to be veterans.

Conclusions: Women veterans are at greater risk for homelessness than are nonveterans. Further study is needed to determine whether increased risks for veterans are a product of military service or reflect volunteers' self-selection into the armed forces.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Career Choice
  • Data Collection
  • Female
  • Homeless Persons / psychology*
  • Homeless Persons / statistics & numerical data*
  • Humans
  • Middle Aged
  • Military Personnel / psychology
  • Odds Ratio
  • Risk Assessment*
  • Risk Factors
  • United States / epidemiology
  • Veterans / psychology*
  • Veterans / statistics & numerical data*
  • Women / psychology*