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Beyond housing: Understanding community integration among homeless-experienced veteran families in the United States

APA Citation:

Ijadi-Maghsoodi, R., Moore, E. M., Feller, S., Cohenmehr, J., Ryan, G. W., Kataoka, S., & Gellberg, L. (2020). Beyond housing: Understanding community integration among homeless-experienced veteran families in the United States. Health and Social Care in the Community. Advance online publication. https://doi.org/10.1111/hsc.13233

Abstract Created by REACH:

When homeless Veterans and their families acquire stable housing, they often struggle to develop a sense of belonging in their new community – a process known as community integration. This study was conducted in two stages. First, using semi-structured interviews, this study explored the experiences of community integration among previously homeless Veterans who were also parents (n = 9) and among providers of homeless services (n = 7). Second, a separate sample of previously homeless Veteran parents (n = 9) participated in a group interview to confirm, and potentially expand upon, key themes that had emerged from the prior interviews. Overall, a model of community integration was created that emphasized the process of gaining permanent housing and the importance of social support as Veteran families situate themselves within their new community.

Focus:

Other
Veterans

Branch of Service:

Multiple branches

Military Affiliation:

Veteran

Subject Affiliation:

Military non-medical service providers
Veteran

Population:

Adulthood (18 yrs & older)

Methodology:

Cross-Sectional Study
Qualitative Study
Secondary Analysis

Authors:

Ijadi-Maghsoodi, Roya, Moore, Elizabeth M., Feller, Sophie, Cohenmehr, Jennifer, Ryan, Gery W., Kataoka, Sheryl, Gelberg, Lillian

Abstract:

Community integration is important to address among homeless-experienced individuals. Little is known about helping veteran families (families with a parent who is a veteran) integrate into the community after homelessness. We sought to understand the experiences of community integration among homeless-experienced veteran families. We used a two-stage, community-partnered approach. First, we analysed 16 interviews with homeless-experienced veteran parents (parents who served in the military; n = 9) living in permanent housing and providers of homeless services (n = 7), conducted from February to September 2016, for themes of community integration. Second, we developed a workgroup of nine homeless-experienced veteran parents living in a permanent housing facility, who met four times from December 2016 to July 2017 to further understand community integration. We audio-recorded, transcribed and analysed the interviews and workgroups for community integration themes. For the analysis, we developed community integration categories based on interactions outside of the household and built a codebook describing each topic. We used the codebook to code the individual interviews and parent workgroup sessions after concluding that the workgroup and interview topics were consistent. Findings were shared with the workgroup. We describe our findings across three stages of community integration: (a) first housed, (b) adjusting to housing and the community, and (c) housing maintenance and community integration. We found that parents tended to isolate after transitioning into permanent housing. After this, families encountered new challenges and were guarded about losing housing. One facilitator to community integration was connecting through children to other parents and community institutions (e.g. schools). Although parents felt safe around other veterans, many felt judged by non-veterans. Parents and providers reported a need for resources and advocacy after obtaining housing. We share implications for improving community integration among homeless-experienced veteran families, including providing resources after obtaining housing, involving schools in facilitating social connections, and combating stigma.

Publisher/Sponsoring Organization:

John Wiley & Sons

Publication Type:

Article
REACH Publication
Featured Research

Author Affiliation:

UCLA Division of Population Behavioral Health, Jane and Terry Semel Institute for Neuroscience and Human Behavior at UCLA, RIM
VA Health Service Research & Development (HSR&D) Center for the Study of Healthcare Innovation, Implementation & Policy (CSHIIP), VA Greater Los Angeles Healthcare System, RIM
Department of Psychiatry and Biobehavioral Sciences, David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA, RIM
VA Health Service Research & Development (HSR&D) Center for the Study of Healthcare Innovation, Implementation & Policy (CSHIIP), VA Greater Los Angeles Healthcare System, RMM
National Clinician Scholars Program, Division of General Internal Medicine and Health Services Research at UCLA, EMM
Department of Psychiatry and Biobehavioral Sciences, David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA, SF
Department of Community Health Sciences, UCLA Fielding School of Public Health, JC
David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA, JC
Department of Health Systems Science, Kaiser Permanente Bernard J. Tyson School of Medicine, GWR
UCLA Division of Population Behavioral Health, Jane and Terry Semel Institute for Neuroscience and Human Behavior at UCLA, SK
Department of Psychiatry and Biobehavioral Sciences, David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA, SK
Center for Health Services and Society, Jane and Terry Semel Institute for Neuroscience and Human Behavior at UCLA, SK
VA Health Service Research & Development (HSR&D) Center for the Study of Healthcare Innovation, Implementation & Policy (CSHIIP), VA Greater Los Angeles Healthcare System, LG
Office of Healthcare Transformation and Innovation, VA Greater Los Angeles Healthcare System, LG
Department of Family Medicine, David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA, LG

Keywords:

adults, community integration, engagement, families, homeless persons, housing, mental-illness, qualitative research, reintegration, service interventions, social integration, successes, veterans, women

View Research Summary:

REACH Publication Type:

Research Summary

Sponsors:

his work was supported by a locally initiated project award (LIP‐65‐160) from the HSR&D Center for the Study of Healthcare Innovation, Implementation & Policy at the Greater Los Angeles Healthcare System and a Greater Los Angeles Veteran Affairs Research Enhancement Award Program (REAP). Dr. Ijadi‐Maghsoodi was supported by the VA Office of Academic Affiliations through the VA Advanced Fellowship in Women's Health during this work. Dr. Ijadi‐Maghsoodi receives funding from the National Institute on Drug Abuse of the National Institutes of Health under Award Number K12DA000357 and the Greater Los Angeles VA UCLA Center of Excellence for Veteran Resilience and Recovery. Dr. Moore is funded by the National Clinician Scholars Program at the Greater Los Angeles VA and the UCLA Department of General Internal Medicine and Health Services Research. Dr. Cohenmehr was supported by the Dean's Leadership in Health and Science Scholarship at the UCLA David Geffen School of Medicine. She was supported by the UCLA Fielding School of Public Health and the Community Health Sciences Department through a summer internship during this work.

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