Homelessness Health Issue

Sofia Wombacher

Why are the Homeless a Health Issue?

The homeless are often exposed to dangers such as violence, malnutrition, inability to control their lives, and other problems such as drugs, alcohol and risky behavior. All of these factors can lead to many complicated health issues that are usually linked to each other and can cause illness in themselves and others.

What are Some Health Issues the Homeless Face?

Those who are homeless face more health related issues than non-homeless people. Health care is even more of a problem for people who are already homeless. Homeless people are three to six times more likely to become sick with illnesses such as tuberculosis because a homeless persons nutrition and hygiene are compromised when there is no stable shelter.

"People get sick, they lose their jobs, they go bankrupt, they lose their homes, they become homeless; it’s a tragically common path. The other side of the problem is that homelessness, in turn, causes health problems." - John Lozier

Why is it Hard for the Homeless to Get Medical Health?

Dr. Holt, an associate professor of Behavioral and Community Health says that homeless people who suffer from mental health issues feel better and more comfortable in the care of people who care about the homeless. But sadly, there are many health service providers who don’t want to serve homeless people. Homeless people often don't have the opportunity to bathe, they sometimes have behavioral health issues, they might be acting out in waiting rooms, they present complex health problems that hospitals and doctors might not be prepared to deal with. There are many reasons why people don’t often go in the first place.
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How Can We Prevent Homelessness and Illnesses Caused by It?

Preventing homelessness in the first place can be easily acheived if we work towards providing affordable housing for everybody, providing accessible health care for everybody, and providing adequate income to sustain people and their families. Another barrier we need to cross to minimize homlessness in America is to inform homeless on the dangers and problems with behaviors that result in the deterioration of their own health.

Works Cited

"Profiles of Risk No. 9: Child Health." ICPHusa.org. Web. 10 Apr. 2015.


Lozier, John. Homelessness and Health – Part I. Nov. 2010. Web. 8 Apr. 2015.


"Health Care and Homelessness." National Coalition for the Homeless. Web. 10 Apr. 2015.


Blake, Kelly E. "Study Shows Homeless People with Mental Health Conditions Benefit from Personalized Primary Care." Study Shows Homeless People with Mental Health Conditions Benefit from Personalized Primary Care. Inderscience Publishers, 23 Mar. 2015. Web. 14 Apr. 2015.



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