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Am J Public Health. 2013 Dec;103(0). doi: 10.2105/AJPH.2013.301309.

Elderly Homeless Veterans in Los Angeles: Chronicity and precipitants of homelessness.

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  • 1Washington University, School of Medicine, Department of Psychiatry ; Veterans Administration.


We interviewed 33 chronically and 26 acutely homeless veterans aged 65 and over about their health and mental health, education and employment experience, social support, service needs and other precipitants of homelessness. Chronically homeless elderly veterans were more likely to have lower levels of education, had greater numbers and longer durations of prior homelessness, fewer social contacts providing instrumental support, and were more likely to report financial barriers to procuring housing. In response to open-ended questioning, elderly homeless veterans revealed how health and substance use issues interacted with loss of social support and eviction. The results suggest the importance of healthcare access and substance disorder treatment among elderly veterans and informs service delivery. Further research with larger samples is needed to confirm the characteristics and needs of the elderly homeless veteran population.


elderly homeless veterans; homeless chronicity; precipitants of homelessness

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