For Immediate Release

Researchers tackle homelessness in new special issue of American Journal of Public Health

Washington, D.C. — New research from the American Journal of Public Health unveils the latest in public health efforts and progress addressing homelessness. The themed supplemental issue includes embargoed research, commentaries and briefs that discuss homelessness and public health, monitor trends in homelessness and investigate potential mitigating factors associated with homelessness.

The issue was developed with support from the Department of Veterans Affairs, Veteran Health Administration and VA National Center on Homelessness Among Veterans.

 “There is a public health crisis playing out on the streets of our Nation’s communities. Homeless men and women, many living with disabling conditions, are joining a declining, though still significant, population of what many refer to euphemistically as ‘the unsheltered’ or ‘forgotten’ homeless,” Shaun Donovan, secretary of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and Eric Shinseki, secretary of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs write in an Editor’s Choice paper included in the issue.

“Homeless Veterans — all homeless Americans — must not remain our invisible citizens. What they need are permanent places to live, jobs, education, and quality healthcare,” they charge.

The issue takes on homelessness from a variety of public health perspectives in which papers address homelessness experienced by elderly individuals, children and families, with topics ranging from the Affordable Care Act to traumatic brain injury for homeless individuals. Studies like “Cooking, Healthy Eating, Fitness and Fun (CHEFFs): Qualitative Evaluation of a Nutrition Education Program for Children Living at Urban Family Homeless Shelters” investigate housing intervention and rehabilitation models. Other papers analyze the intersections of homelessness and substance abuse, mental health and childhood experiences. A host of studies including “Homelessness and Money Mismanagement in Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans” review conditions of homelessness for veterans.

“Veterans are a priority population in addressing the public health problem of suicide risk, and the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs has devoted considerable resources to screening and ameliorating homelessness and housing instability among veterans. However, little is known about associations between housing-related financial distress (i.e., housing instability) and mental distress and suicidal ideation among veterans,” researchers write.
[From: “Housing Instability and Mental Distress among U.S. Veterans”]

In addition to new research, commentaries and briefs included in the issue review the progress and history of addressing homelessness and ensuring health for all individuals through research and policy.

“Family homelessness has become more prevalent and has affected poor and low-income families more generally than in the 1980s, when the homeless heads of household frequently had personal vulnerabilities such as depression or other mental illness,” one brief explains.
[From: “Twenty Five Years of Child and Family Homelessness: Where Are We Now?]

A full listing of papers included in this issue of the American Journal of Public Health can be found below. These articles will be published online Oct. 22, 2013, at 4 p.m. EDT by the American Journal of Public Health® under “First Look.”  “First Look” articles have undergone peer review, copyediting and approval by authors but have not yet been printed to paper or posted online by issue. The American Journal of Public Health is published by the American Public Health Association.

Included in this issue of the American Journal of Public Health:

·         Twenty Five Years of Child and Family Homelessness: Where Are We Now? Systematic Review – Mr. Roy Grant

·         Opportunities for Engaging Low-Income, Vulnerable Populations in Health Care: A Systematic Review of Homeless Persons' Access to and Use of Information Technologies, Systematic Review -  Dr  Donald Keith McInnes

·         Achieving Public Health Goals Through Medicaid Expansion: Opportunities in Criminal Justice, Homelessness, and Behavioral Health with the Affordable Care Act, Commentary – Dr. Barbara DiPietro

·         Housing First Improves Residential Stability for Homeless Adults with Concurrent Substance Dependence and Mental Disorders, Research Article – Dr. Anita Palepu

·         Permanent Supportive Housing: Addressing Homelessness and Health Disparities? Commentary – Dr. Benjamin Foster Henwood

·         Five Years of Mortality Surveillance of New York City Homeless Populations: What Is the Programmatic Impact? Analytic Essay – Ms. Melissa Gambatese

·         Health Care for the Homeless: what have we learned in the past 30 years…and what's next? Framing Health Matters – Dr. Cheryl Zlotnick

·         Implementing Housing First in Rural Areas: Pathways to Housing Vermont, Field Action Report – Ms. Ana Stefancic

·         Universal Screening for Homelessness and Risk for Homelessness in the Veterans Health Administration, Brief – Dr. Ann Elizabeth Montgomery

·         Challenges Associated with Screening for Traumatic Brain Injury among Veterans Seeking Homeless Services, Brief – Dr. Lisa Brenner

·         Housing Instability and Mental Distress among Veterans, Brief – Dr. John R Blosnich

·         Identifying Veterans Who Access Services from Health Care for the Homeless Clinics, Brief – Mrs. Sarah M. Knopf-Amelung

·         Comparing Homeless Smokers to Economically Disadvantaged Domiciled Smokers, Brief – Dr. Michael S. Businelle

·         Resource-limited, collaborative pilot intervention for chronically homeless, alcohol dependent, frequent ED users, Brief – Dr. RYAN Patrick MCCORMACK

·         When health insurance is not a factor: National comparison of homeless and non-homeless veterans who use Veterans Affairs emergency departments, Research Article – Dr. Jack Tsai

·         Elderly Homeless Veterans in Los Angeles: Chronicity and precipitants of homelessness, Research Article – Dr. Carissa van den Berk Clark

·         Latent homeless risk profiles of a national sample of homeless veterans and their relation to program referral and admission patterns, Research Article – Dr. Jack Tsai

·          Homelessness and Money Mismanagement in Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans, Research article – Dr. Eric Elbogen

·         Risk factors for becoming homeless among a cohort of veterans who served in the era of the Iraq and Afghanistan conflicts, Research Article – Associate Professor Stephen Metraux

·         The Relationship Among Adverse Childhood Experiences, History of Active Military Service, and Adult Outcomes: Homelessness, Mental Health, and Physical Health, Research Article – Dr. Ann Elizabeth Montgomery

·         Housing Retention in Single-site Housing First for Chronically Homeless Individuals with Severe Alcohol Problems, Research Article – Dr. Susan E Collins

·         The relationship between adverse childhood experiences and homelessness and the impact of Axis I and II disorders, Research Article – Dr. Jitender Sareen

·         Substance use disorders and poverty as prospective predictors of first-time homelessness in the United States, Research Article – Dr. Ronald Greer Thompson

·         Admission Decisions and Outcomes of Community Acquired Pneumonia in the Homeless Population: A Review of 172 Patients in an Urban Setting, Research Article – Dr. Barbara Jones

·         A Comprehensive Assessment of Health Care Utilization among Homeless Adults under a System of Universal Health Insurance, Research Article – Dr. Stephen W. Hwang

·         High Utilizers of Emergency Health Services in a Population-based Cohort of Homeless Adults, Research Article – Ms. Catharine Chambers

·         Health Care Utilization Patterns of Homeless Individuals in Boston: Preparing for Medicaid Expansion Under the Affordable Care Act, Research Article – Dr. Monica Bharel

·         Homelessness During the Transition from Foster Care to Adulthood, Research Article – Dr. Amy Dworsky

·         Efficient Targeting of Homelessness Prevention Services for Families, Research Article – Dr. Marybeth Shinn

·         Comparing Homeless Persons' Care Experiences in Tailored versus Non-Tailored Primary Care Programs, Research Article – Dr. Stefan G Kertesz

·         Community-level Characteristics Associated with Variation in Rates of Homelessness Among Families and Single Adults, Research Article – Dr. Jamison Fargo

·         Randomized Trial of Intensive Housing Placement and Community Transition Services for Episodic and Recidivist Homeless Families, Research Article – Mr. Aaron J Levitt

·         Navigating the Boundaries of Emergency Department Care: Addressing the Medical and Social Needs of Patients Who Are Homeless, Research Article – Dr. Kelly M. Doran

·         Cooking, Healthy Eating, Fitness and Fun (CHEFFs): Qualitative Evaluation of a Nutrition Education Program for Children Living at Urban Family Homeless Shelters, Research Article – Ms. Jo Applebaum

·         Evaluating the Impact of Dental Care On Homeless Rehabilitation Outcomes, Research Article – Dr. Elizabeth Nunez

·         New to Care: Demands on a Health System when Homeless Veterans are Enrolled in a Medical Home Model, Research Article – Dr. Thomas P O'Toole

·         Predictors of Medical/surgical and Psychiatric Hospitalizations among a Population-based Cohort of Homeless Adults, Research Article – Ms. Catharine Chambers  

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