Getting Sorted Out in East London

March 12, 2019

Vulnerability and Resilience of Homeless Ex-Servicemen

Authors: Stephanie E. Armes, James R. Muruthi, William H. Milroy, Jay A. Mancini

An academic paper co-authored by Veterans Aid CEO Dr Hugh Milroy details the outcome of interviews with homeless ex-servicemen to explore their experiences of stress and resilience.

The paper was published in FEANTSA’s European Journal of Homelessness – an international, peer-reviewed journal that provides a critical analysis of policy and practice on homelessness in Europe for policy makers, practitioners, researchers and academics.


Interviews were conducted at Veterans Aid’s New Belvedere House (NBH) where thirty-seven men (61% of residents at that time) volunteered to participate in the interviews.

The interviews focused on three distinct aspects of the residents’ lives – their past experiences with family adversity, their present experiences of homelessness, and their current social connections with family and friends.


Understanding homelessness is a complex endeavour, and unpacking homelessness includes investigating causes of homelessness, everyday life experiences of living without a permanent home, consequences of homelessness, or preventative factors.

All authors of this paper have previous experiences which impact the way interviews were conducted, read, analysed, and presented.

One of the authors is Jay A. Mancini – Professor Emeritus of Human Development at Virginia Tech and Adjunct Professor of Human Development and Family Science at The University of Georgia.

Professor Jay A. Mancini said:

‘There are many misperceptions about homeless individuals and families.

The lives of homeless men are not just about problems and difficulties, but also about elements in their past and present lives that are helpful to them. Vulnerability and resilience intersect at the same time.

Our study not only shows the nature of this intersection but uncovers where positive efforts can occur to help those who are homeless.’

Dr Hugh Milroy, Veterans Aid CEO and one of the authors of the paper said:

‘Veterans Aid embraced this research to explain our highly developed and unique methodology. 

It was important to us to have the evaluation done by external researchers and I am grateful to my US colleagues for their painstaking research and analysis of our work. 

Conducting this research at a distance added challenges to the process but definitely added a high degree of reliability to the findings. When the report is looked at in conjunction with our recent Pro Bono Economics report this gives a very reassuring overview of our methodology and outcomes.

Welfare to Wellbeing© is now tried, tested and externally evaluated and I am confident that it will serve veterans well for many years to come.’

Read the full article: European Journal of Homelessness, Volume 13, Issue 1 – 2019