Homelessness is experienced by veterans at a higher percentage than nonveterans. Veterans represent eight percent of the homeless population (U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, 2019). Also, the mortality rate of younger homeless veterans is higher than non-homeless veterans (Schinka et al., 2018). Veterans experience the lack of affordable housing, the lack of affordable health care, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), substance abuse, and a lack of family or social support (National Coalition for Homeless Veterans, 2018). The purpose of this qualitative research study was to interview prior homeless veterans from Gulf War Era I (1990 - 2001) and/or Gulf War Era II OEF/OIF/OND conflict eras (Operation Enduring Freedom [Afghanistan]) 2001- present, Operation Iraqi Freedom 2003- present and Operation New Dawn Iraqi September 2010 - present veterans). In-depth interviews were conducted with each participant. The data gathered was analyzed for common themes to assist in the prevention and decrease of veteran homelessness. The five themes that emerged were relationships matter, faith/spirituality may be a protective factor, the importance of the belief in self, higher education makes a difference, and the need for ongoing improvement of transition services. This study provides suggestions and best practices to assist individuals and organizations in the prevention of veteran homelessness. In addition, this study provides opportunities for future research on veterans and homelessness in general.

Library of Congress Subject Headings

Homeless veterans -- Housing; United States. Army -- Veterans -- Housing; Homelessness

Date of Award


School Affiliation

Graduate School of Education and Psychology



Degree Type


Degree Name


Faculty Advisor

June Schmieder