We examined migration patterns among 113,400 homeless veterans, focusing on the prevalence and the basic geographic patterns of this migration. Data were for all veterans who initiated use of Veterans Affairs homeless services in 2011 or 2012; and we followed them using Veterans Affairs administrative records for up to 2 years following this initial contact. Results showed that 15.3% of the veterans migrated across regions while homeless. Those who were homeless for longer periods were more likely to migrate, and migration, were it to occur, was most likely earlier on in veterans’ homelessness episodes. There were no clear geographic correlates that explained the dynamics of this migration as, overall, in-migration tended to roughly balance out-migration in a region. These findings suggest that concerns about the extent of migration and its impact on localities are exaggerated, but also sets forth an agenda for more in-depth study of these data to gain a deeper and more expansive understanding of this phenomenon.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health