Sean Kendall Veterans Law Firm

Homeless Veterans

Why are there homeless veterans and are veterans overrepresented in the homeless population?


In 2012 HUD (Department of Housing and Urban Development) says 62, 619 vets were homeless. 

Research show s 41% of adult men, who are homeless, are vets compared to 34% or less for the general homeless male population.  Contrary to what is commonly believed, Vietnam vets aren’t overrepresented in the homeless population. 

Factors contributing to homeless among veterans:  low levels of social support, particularly within 1 year after discharge; and, being unmarried.  Other factors that contributing to homeless:   psychological disorders (not PTSD); and substance abuse.  In fact, the research shows that there is not a direct correlation between PTSD and homelessness; however, many homeless vets are diagnosed with PTSD.

Pre-military circumstances also contribute to homelessness among veterans:  exposure to physical/sexual abuse; experiencing other traumas, such as a serious accident; and conduct disorder.

Since the number of women in the military has increased, female vets also face the homeless issue.  Some of their risk factors include:  unemployment, disability, and unmarried status.

Research on what makes vets homeless, so far, has not included Iraq and Afghanistan vets.


Congressional Research Service

Veterans and Homelessness

Libby Pearl, Specialist in Housing Policy

Feb. 4, 2013


Congressional Research Service




CRS Report for Congress

Prepared for members and Committee of Congress