Examines the need to create a comprehensive support system for African American homeless veterans with disabilities around issues of employment, mental health, housing, and financial stability.

In this white paper, found on page 26 as part of a series of white papers on veterans, the authors describe how “far too many veterans are returning from war with physical and mental disabilities that limit their ability to obtain or maintain stable employment. Without adequate employment, veterans are unable to afford stable housing, which impedes their employment outcome. Thus, homelessness may be the end result. The authors provide an overview of contributing factors that lead to homelessness among African American veterans with disabilities, barriers to obtaining and sustaining employment, and requisite strategies and policies needed to overcome homelessness and unemployment among” this population. (p.26) (Abstractor: Author and Website Staff)

Full publication title: Improving Vocational Rehabilitation Access and Employment Success for African American Homeless Veterans with Disabilities

Major Findings & Recommendations

The authors recommend developing comprehensive rehabilitation practices that include a continuum of support for employment, emotional stability, financial independence, and housing. Specific suggestions include the creation of on-site shelter services with “shelter” advocates that can respond to a range of case management needs, as well as the use of empowerment-centered practices while providing mental health care. Vocational case management, transitional and affordable permanent housing, and opportunities to increase skills for self-advocacy are suggested. In addition, greater coordination of services among community-based organizations, mental health interventions, and social service systems are encouraged. (p.38-42) (Abstractor: Author and Website Staff)