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The number of women in the military – both active duty and veteran populations – is growing rapidly. Often their return to civilian life is difficult. An estimated 75,609 veterans are homeless, sheltered or unsheltered, on any given night. Female veterans have a greater risk of homelessness compared to their civilian counterparts. The experience of trauma prior to enlistment coupled with trauma experienced while in uniform is a common denominator among homeless female veterans. Research suggests that 81-93% of female veterans have been exposed to some type of trauma, significantly higher rates than the civilian population (Zinzow et al., 2007).  These experiences have a significant impact on mental and physical health, family relationships, and housing and job stability.

This resource is designed to be used by community-based service agencies that work with homeless female veterans in a variety of settings (e.g., emergency shelters, domestic violence shelters, transitional and supportive housing programs, outpatient settings). Leaders within these organizations who are looking to improve their effectiveness in engaging the female veterans they serve can use this guide to begin the process of becoming trauma informed.