Estimates provided by a report from the Government Accountability Office (GAO) indicate an increasing trend in homelessness rates among female Veterans.
A feature on the Navy Times shared that the report, which was issued on Monday, cited “limited” data from the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). It indicated that the number of homeless women Vets more than doubled between 2006 and 2010, increasing to more than 3,300 in 2010 from less than 1,400 in 2006.
However, the data used in the report is “flawed,” as government agencies do not track homelessness among female Vets consistently. This fact raises questions regarding the ability of the VA to provide assistance for these Vets.
The GAO report had been reviewed by VA officials, who said that they “generally agree” with the findings of the report.
The GAO called on the VA to improve services for homeless female Vets, as demand is expected to increase over the next several years. In addition, the GAO also pointed out reports of women who had been sexually assaulted during their stay in homeless shelters funded by the VA.
The report read: “Absent more complete data, VA does not have the information needed to plan services effectively, allocate grants to providers and track progress toward its overall goal of ending veteran homelessness by 2015… Without improved services, women — including those with children and those who have experienced military sexual trauma — remain at risk of homelessness and experiencing further abuse.”