Evaluation of Resources for Homeless Veterans in Tarrant County
Purpose: Our project aimed to gather and present information about the homeless veteran population of Tarrant County and the resources available to them. Three to six percent of homeless veterans in the United States reside in Texas and the majority of that population is in metropolitan areas such as Dallas-Fort Worth. This number is increasing with each passing year and access to information pertaining to services that can help them is limited and often difficult to find. The homeless veteran population faces many unique problems including mental illness, physical disability, and acquiring proper health care. Methods & Results: Research and analysis of resources offered for the homeless in Tarrant County yielded several assistance programs. Of those programs, several were aimed towards serving the veteran population including the VA hospital, Compensated Work Therapy, Veterans Justice Outreach Program, Presbyterian Night Shelter, and HUD-Veterans Affairs Supportive Housing (HUD-VASH). Each program had unique barriers to access but common themes were distance to service site and lack of funding. Conclusions: While there are numerous resources for homeless veterans to utilize, the barriers to accessing care and specific eligibility guidelines for each resource prevent them from benefiting from services to improve quality of life through housing and healthcare. There is a need for increased social awareness as well as minimizing barriers to access.