Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)


Benerd School of Education

First Advisor

Jon S. Wedding, Ed.D

Second Advisor

Delores E. McNair, Ed.D

First Committee Member

Allison Rowland, Ed.L.D


The Space in Between: An Exploration of the Transition From Military Service to Life as a Homeless Female Veteran


By Dana M. Howard

University of the Pacific


There are 18.2 million U.S. military veterans (U.S. Department of Commerce, 2021) and approximately 200,000 active-duty, reserve, and National Guard service members will become veterans each year (U.S. Department of Labor, n.d.). Before becoming veterans, these military members were performing duties in service to their country (Duty Periods Defined, n.d.). Due to a planned or unplanned event, military personnel must transition from uniformed members to civilian citizens. This transition process can be characterized as disorienting, complex, or difficult for service members as they leave the service (Anderson & Goodman, 2014; Hachey et al., 2016; Keeling, 2018; Zogas, 2017). The congressionally mandated transition assistance program (TAP) was designed to help service members transition back to civilian life (Department of Labor, 2018). Despite support from the TAP, an estimated 33,129 veterans were unhoused in January of 2022, and of this number approximately 10.4% were females (de Sousa et al., 2022). Though the overall estimate for homeless veterans decreased by 11% from the 2020 count, the estimated number of unhoused female veterans increased by 10% (de Sousa et al., 2022). Some research has been conducted about homeless female veterans (Conard et al., 2021; Kenny & Yoder, 2019; Spinola et al., 2020), but not much is known about the space in between military service and becoming unstably housed. This study shares portraits and findings from interviews with nine female veterans and offers recommendations for improvements in support programs that might help a future generation of female veterans as they leave the military.





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