The number of veterans experiencing homelessness in California decreased by 41 percent between 2010 and 2022. However, veterans still experience disproportionate rates of homelessness: about 7 percent of people adults experiencing homelessness were veterans compared to about 5 percent of California’s overall adult population in 2022. This brief provides a snapshot of the approximately 39,000 veteran adult individuals (adults living in households without children) who were served by homelessness programs in California that reported data to the Homelessness Data Integration System (HDIS) between July 1, 2018, and June 30, 2021. Similar to veterans in the general population, around 90 percent of veteran adult individuals in HDIS identified as male. Veterans served by homelessness programs were three times more likely to identify as Black, African American, or African compared to all veterans in California. Veterans were more likely than non-veteran adult individuals to be served by programs providing housing assistance, including housing with supportive services, and were housed at a higher rate than non-veterans at the end of the assessment period (56 percent and 32 percent, respectively). These services and outcomes reflect the significant federal and state resources devoted to programs serving veterans, and lessons learned from their effectiveness could inform ongoing efforts to make homelessness rare, brief, and non-recurring for all people.
Veterans Served by California’s Homelessness Programs
The Terner Center for Housing Innovation at University of California Berkeley