Realities of homelessness in the United States Homeless people are the sum total of our dreams, policies, intentions, errors, omissions, cruelties, and kindnesses as a society. Peter Marin, sociologist
Some studies suggest that as many as half of homeless adults with severe mental illness also have a co-occurring substance use disorder.
D.L. Dennis, I.S. Levine and F.C. Osher. The Physical and Mental Health Status of Homeless Adults , a paper presented at the Fannie Mae Housing Conference, Washington, DC, 1991 p.9. As cited in Organizing Health Services for Homeless People . McMurray-Avila. M. 2001.
Individuals without a regular place to stay are far more likely than are those with stable housing to suffer from chronic medical conditions such as diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and asthma.
Institute on Medicine, Homelessness, Health and Human Needs , 1988
Homelessness and health care: fundamental issues
Limited access to nutritious food and water
Higher rates of communicable disease
Serious and complex medical conditions
Lack of health insurance/resources
Lack of transportation
Discontinuous/inaccessible health care
Homelessness and health care: fundamental issues (cont’d)
Higher rates of abuse
Behavioral health problems
Barriers to disability assistance
Lack of social supports
Criminalization of homelessness
From Adapting Your Practice: General Recommendations for the Care of Homeless Patients Health Care for the Homeless Clinicians’ Network. Available at http://www.nhchc.org/Publications/6.1.04GenHomelessRecsFINAL.pdf