Nov. 9, 2017

Recognizing the trend of an increasing number of women in the homeless veteran populations, Synchrony Financial and the National Coalition for Homeless Veterans conducted a survey to gather better data to identify reasons behind this trend and to identify and guide the implementation of better solutions moving forward.

The resulting report, Families that Work Partnership to Assist Women Veterans with Children, reveals several areas of inadequacy in communities’ attempts to assist homeless women veterans and homeless women veterans with children. Some of these areas are common factors for all homeless veterans, but factors that stood out as more prevalent among women veterans include:

Child care issues

Intimate partner violence

Fear of being separated from children

Perception that veteran housing is only available for individuals

Fear of safety for children in shelters

Shelter rules barring children based on age or gender

In addition to a complete overview of those and other factors, the report offers five recommendations for improving access to services for homeless women veterans and homeless women veterans with families:

Communities should explore and implement responsible shelter diversion strategies.

Housing interventions should provide appropriate services for veteran families of varying compositions.

Mainstream resources must recognize, and meet the unique needs of women veterans and veteran families.

The financial management and budgeting skills gap for homeless women veterans and homeless veteran families must be closed.

Greater coordination between veteran homelessness and intimate partner violence resources is needed.

The full report, going into detail on the findings of the survey and explanation of the recommendations, is available here.