Research & Methodology - VA Homeless Programs
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Research & Methodology



The Research and Methodology Core functions to meet the intent of the Center’s authorizing legislation[i] to conduct and support research into the causes and contributing factors of Veteran homelessness; assess the effectiveness of programs; and serve as a resource center for all research activities carried out by the Department of Veterans Affairs and by other Federal and non-Federal entities with respect to Veteran homelessness. Veteran homelessness is broadly defined and includes Veterans in various states of homelessness and housing instability, including those living in shelters, transitional housing, or precarious housing situations.  

There are currently over 30 researchers affiliated with the Center investigating a wide breadth of issues related to Veteran homelessness.

The Center is focused on four key areas:

  • Population-based studies: Using administrative data or large-scale surveys to 1) develop predictive or explanatory models related to housing, health, criminal justice involvement, and homelessness; and 2) to understand characteristics, needs, prevalence, and incidence of health and social conditions in the homeless Veteran population, including subpopulations (geriatric, rural, women with children).
  • Physical and mental health: Studies that focus on the identification, prevention, and treatment of medical conditions, mental illness, and substance use disorders, especially those that disproportionally affect the homeless Veteran population.
  • Functioning and flourishing: Investigation into how to help Veterans thrive and flourish beyond housing, including social integration, employment, citizenship, money management, and other aspects of living a meaningful life.
  • Program evaluation: Studies of existing or new models of care, including program fidelity, implementation processes, access to care, uptake of services, program effectiveness and efficiency, and staff practices and well-being, with the goal of informing programs and identifying ways to improve care for Veterans.

Across these key areas, the Center is interested in promoting and studying new effective interventions (clinical practices, organizational changes, technology-based solutions) and methodologies (recruitment and retention, measurement, data analytic procedures) across the homeless veteran population or important subgroups.

The Center disseminates the results of its research and data analytic work through peer reviewed publications, reports, manuals, symposium proceedings, and briefs.  It also hosts two ongoing webinar series, one focused on using research findings to inform policy and the other to influence practice. The Homeless Evidence and Research Synthesis (HERS) Roundtable Series is a virtual symposium held two times a year to convene peer researchers, subject matter experts, policy makers, and advocates to discuss research findings and develop evidence-based recommendations to inform policy and practice on key homeless issues. Connecting Research to Practice is a series of webinars that provides clinicians, program managers, and front-line staff the opportunity to discuss particular research studies and how findings might be considered in planning, developing, or implementing services for Veterans currently or formerly homeless.  To access the archived Connecting Research to Practice webinars prior to 2021, please visit the Connecting Research to Practice page, where you can view the webinars from multiple research studies. For 2021 and beyond, Connecting Research to Practice webinars are incorporated in the Center’s National Education Series


Is there a research question about Veteran homelessness that you'd like for us to investigate?

Learn about the Center's Fellowship Program (Flyer) 
Applications Open for Center Fellowships

Learn about the Center's Homeless Veterans Research Engagement Panel 
Applications Open for Homeless Veterans Research Engagement Panel


Jack Tsai, Ph.D. - Director of Research, National Center on Homelessness among Veterans

  Jack Tsai, Ph.D. is a Clinical Psychologist and Health Services Researcher and became the Director of Research for the National Center on Homelessness among Veterans in January 2019.  In this role, Dr. Tsai has responsibility for developing, coordinating, and implementing all aspects of the Center’s research, including oversight of collaborative efforts with scientists and researchers at other agencies and institutions.  Dr. Tsai’s primary role will be in meeting a significant function of the Center’s authorizing legislative intent in carrying out and promoting research into the causes and contributing factors to Veteran homelessness.

To learn more about Dr. Jack Tsai, PhD, see the Center’s Biographies of Key Personnel or watch a YouTube video with Dr. Jack Tsai, PhD.

National Center Research Fact Sheet


Is there a research question about Veteran homelessness that you'd like for us to investigate?