Recent national and local focus on Veterans who are experiencing homelessness has led to reduction in homelessness in this population. In order to provide more information about these individuals, this report describes Veterans in Allegheny County who received homeless assistance services at least once from 2014 through 2018, including details on demographics, housing program types and involvement with other County services. In order to sustain progress and to further prevent and reduce Veteran homelessness as much as possible, Allegheny County agencies and community partners will benefit from leveraging data to identify patterns in Veteran homelessness, track outcomes and inform practices for addressing Veterans’ housing needs.
Key findings include:
- The number of Veterans entering homeless assistance programs in Allegheny County consistently declined from 2014 through 2018, seeing a 45% decrease over the five-year period. By contrast, non-Veterans saw slight decreases in program entries from 2014 through 2016, punctuated by a significant uptick in 2017.
- Underlying racial disparities in homelessness persisted among Veterans and non-Veterans alike. More than half of Allegheny County Veterans who accessed homeless assistance programs from 2014 through 2018 were Black. The percentage of Veterans using Allegheny County homeless services who were Black is consistent with the racial demographics of all people (Veterans and non-Veterans) who used these types of services in the region.
- Veterans who left the homeless system after receiving services were found to be slightly less likely than non-Veterans to re-enter the homeless assistance system, suggesting that they were able to find and maintain stable housing. Four percent of Veterans who left a homeless assistance program for a destination considered to be permanent experienced recurring homelessness and returned for assistance, compared to 6% of non-Veterans.