Overrepresentation of Women Veterans among Homeless Women

Gail Gamache, Robert Rosenheck and Richard Tessler

July 2003

This study estimated the proportion of veterans among homeless women and their risk of homelessness relative to that of nonveterans. Data came from two surveys of homeless women (one clinical and one nonclinical) and one survey of domiciled women. The proportion of veterans (4.4%, 3.1%) among homeless women was greater than the proportion among domiciled women (1.3%, 1.2%). When computed odds ratios for being a veteran among homeless women were compared with nonhomeless women, homeless women were significantly more likely than nonhomeless women to be veterans. 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.

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