Data on Homelessness Among African-American Veterans


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At a workshop that organized by the National Coalition on Homeless Veterans, the Alliance's M William Sermons, Director of the Homelessness Research Institute at the Alliance, presented data that show that African Americans are overrepresented among the homeless veteran population.

As illustrated in the Alliance’s most recent report on homelessness among veterans, while African American veterans make up 10 - 11 percent of the veteran population, they make up 45 percent of the homeless veteran population.

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Data on Homelessness Among African-American Veterans

  1. 1. Data on Homelessness Among African-American Veterans Presented by: M William Sermons, Director Homelessness Research Institute Presented at: National Coalition for Homeless Veterans 2010 Annual Conference June 23, 2010
  2. 2. Findings from Vital Mission (2007) <ul><li>Veterans better educated, more likely to be employed and lower poverty rate than general population. </li></ul><ul><li>Veterans make up a disproportionate share of homeless people (26% of homeless vs. 11% of population 18+) </li></ul>
  3. 3. Findings from 2008 Data/Policy Update (2009) 8% 20% Other 46% 38% White 45% 42% African-American Vets Gen Persons served by race/ethnicity.
  4. 4. Quote from 5 th Annual AHAR (June 2010) <ul><li>“ When compared to their counterparts nationwide, homeless people are much more likely to be adult males , African Americans , non-elderly, alone, veterans and disabled .” </li></ul><ul><li>~ U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development </li></ul>
  5. 5. Veteran Status as Protective Factor for All Alliance analysis of 2008 American Community Survey, Census Bureau <1% 2% Doubled Up 9% 14% Severe Cost Burden <3% >3% Unemployed 78% 67% Home Owner 8% 15% Poverty 93% 49% Male Veterans General Population
  6. 6. For Black Veterans Alliance analysis of 2008 American Community Survey, Census Bureau 1% 3% Doubled Up 13% 19% Severe Cost Burden 5% 8% Unemployed 61% 47% Home Owner 14% 26% Poverty 88% 43% Male Black Veterans Black Non-Veterans
  7. 7. Disparities among Veterans by Race Alliance analysis of 2008 American Community Survey, Census Bureau <1% 9% 3% 78% 8% 93% Veterans 1% Doubled Up 13% Severe Cost Burden 5% Unemployed 61% Home Owner 14% Poverty 88% Male Black Veterans
  8. 8. Summary <ul><li>Veteran status is a protective factor against most economic hardship, including risk factors for homelessness. </li></ul><ul><li>Protective factor appears to extend to African American veterans. </li></ul><ul><li>Veterans experience a higher rate of homelessness than non-veterans. </li></ul><ul><li>African American veterans are overrepresented among homeless veterans. </li></ul>
  9. 9. Implications <ul><li>African American veterans face multiple risk factors for homelessness, which should be factored into policy and practice. </li></ul><ul><li>Only one of these risk factors (veteran status) is explicitly addressed in Opening Doors . </li></ul><ul><li>Better understanding of African American veteran homeless population is needed to effectively end homelessness. </li></ul>