We studied a community probability sample of 1185 homeless individuals to examine substance dependence in relationship to other personal and social vulnerabilities linked to homelessness, including sociodemographics, childhood/adolescent factors, pre-homelessness factors, multiple episodes of homelessness, and the quality of shelter in their current episode of homelessness. These vulnerability factors were significantly concentrated in homeless individuals with lifetime and recent substance dependence, especially among those with both alcohol and drug dependence. In addition, the profiles of the homeless with alcohol dependence alone were distinct from those with drug dependence alone or both, with older age, more males, longer histories of homelessness, and significantly poorer quality shelter during the previous 30 days. Therefore, homeless individuals with substance dependence have many vulnerabilities beyond their substance dependence that should be dealt with in treatment or other service settings before lasting housing can be achieved.
Originally published in: American Journal of Drug and Alcohol Abuse, v. 28, no. 3, 2002, pp. 429-452.
This report is part of the RAND Corporation reprint series. The Reprint was a product of the RAND Corporation from 1992 to 2011 that represented previously published journal articles, book chapters, and reports with the permission of the publisher. RAND reprints were formally reviewed in accordance with the publisher's editorial policy and compliant with RAND's rigorous quality assurance standards for quality and objectivity. For select current RAND journal articles, see External Publications.
Permission is given to duplicate this electronic document for personal use only, as long as it is unaltered and complete. Copies may not be duplicated for commercial purposes. Unauthorized posting of RAND PDFs to a non-RAND Web site is prohibited. RAND PDFs are protected under copyright law. For information on reprint and linking permissions, please visit the RAND Permissions page.
The RAND Corporation is a nonprofit institution that helps improve policy and decisionmaking through research and analysis. RAND's publications do not necessarily reflect the opinions of its research clients and sponsors.