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Short Title

Safety Net Services and Veteran Homelessness

Abstract

Unsheltered homelessness among veterans has declined rapidly since 2009; however, more than one-third of veterans experiencing homelessness stayed in places not meant for human habitation during 2014. Research has identified a negative relationship between federal spending on the social safety net and community level rates of homelessness, but not specifically for veterans. The present study assessed whether investment in veteran-specific safety net resources predicted changes in the rate of unsheltered veteran homelessness. Increases in Veterans Affairs (VA) medical care expenditures were significantly associated with a decline in unsheltered veteran homelessness, perhaps explained by additional VA resources aimed at identifying and housing these veterans.

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