In recent years, we have made substantial strides in housing veterans and preventing returns to homelessness. Those recent successes can be attributed to several factors, including a sufficient amount of investment, a clear focus on measurable goals and attainable system features, and the efforts of communities across the country to organize systems that assure ready access to low-barrier shelter and rapid re-housing assistance.
Research has found that the primary risk factors preceding homelessness among veterans are consistent with those for the general population: substance abuse, mental health problems, and income-related factors. However, these and other risk factors related to military service appear to interact to increase vulnerability to homelessness among veterans. Programs targeted to veterans integrate the separate systems of healthcare and other benefits managed and implemented by the Department of Veterans Affairs with the homeless services system and providers of mainstream housing assistance.