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Psychosis, Lack of Job Skills, and Criminal History: Associations With Employment in Two Samples of Homeless Men.

Tsai J, Rosenheck RA. Psychosis, Lack of Job Skills, and Criminal History: Associations With Employment in Two Samples of Homeless Men. Psychiatric services (Washington, D.C.). 2016 Jun 1; 67(6):671-5.

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OBJECTIVE: This study examined factors associated with employment among homeless men with mental illness, particularly history of criminal justice involvement. METHODS: Data from 569 homeless men in the 11-site Collaborative Initiative to Help End Chronic Homelessness (2004-2009) and 1,101 homeless male veterans in the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development-Veterans Affairs Supportive Housing program at 19 sites (1992-2003) were analyzed. RESULTS: In neither sample was criminal or incarceration history significantly associated with job attainment or earnings for either black or white participants. In contrast, psychotic disorders and public-support income were negatively associated with job attainment and earnings. The majority of homeless veterans reported lifetime occupations as skilled or unskilled manual workers. CONCLUSIONS: These findings highlight the high rate of nonemployment among homeless men and suggest that employment among homeless men is not significantly impeded by a criminal record but by psychiatric problems and reliance on public-support income.

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