Impact of Homelessness on Health

The impact of homelessness on health.
Homelessness is a serious social problem that affects millions of people worldwide. Among the many issues arising from homelessness, one of the most concerning is the negative chronic health outcomes often faced by people who are disconnected from society and have no stable or appropriate form of housing or shelter.
Homelessness can have a profound impact on a person’s physical and mental health, leading to a range of long-term health problems that can be difficult to manage and treat. It is vital that society in general understand the ramifications homelessness has on a persons physical well-being. The lack of shelter or a place to call home is not the only negative outcome of homelessness. The vulnerability of the persons physical well-being and lack of access to proper health care can have devastating effects.
One of the most significant chronic health issues that people experiencing homelessness face is a higher risk of infectious diseases. They are more susceptible to infectious diseases due to the lack of access to basic hygiene facilities such as clean water, soap, and a safe and secure place to rest. They are also exposed to various infections through close contact with other people cohabiting in crowded and unsanitary environments. As a result, people experiencing homelessness are at higher risk of developing chronic infections such as tuberculosis, hepatitis B and C, and HIV.
Without stable housing and healthcare people are also at higher risk of developing chronic diseases such as heart disease, diabetes, and hypertension. The lack of access to nutritious food, safe and secure housing, and adequate healthcare means vulnerable people often have poor nutrition, increased stress levels, and reduced physical activity. This puts them at higher risk of developing chronic diseases that can be challenging if not impossible to manage and treat without access to regular medical care.
Another chronic health issue that people experiencing homelessness often face is mental health disorders. Homelessness can cause significant stress and trauma, leading to anxiety, depression, and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). On top of this, people also experience high levels of stigma and discrimination, which can further exacerbate their mental health problems.
Without access to effective mental health services, people experiencing homelessness often struggle to manage their mental health conditions, leading to increased risk of negative outcomes such as substance abuse, social isolation, and suicide.
People who are disconnected from society are also at higher risk of developing substance abuse disorders. The trauma of falling into homelessness can sometimes cause people to turn to drugs and alcohol as a coping mechanism for the stress and trauma of feeling disconnected, vulnerable and alone. Substance abuse can have a range of negative health outcomes, including liver disease, respiratory problems, and mental health disorders.
Chronic homelessness is a significant social issue that has a profound impact on a person’s physical and mental health. Not only do people experiencing homelessness face a range of chronic health problems that can be difficult to manage and treat without access to basic healthcare services, social stigma can be a psychological barrier for the individual in seeking help or medical care.
Addressing the health needs of each individual experiencing homelessness, via personalised medical care, treatment plans and assistance is crucial to improving their overall well-being and quality of life. It requires a comprehensive approach that includes access to basic healthcare services, housing, and social support.
Sadly and rather infuriatingly, these services are chronically underfunded and often unavailable. Homelessness isn’t always caused by a lack of housing. There are many avenues and events that can cause people to tip into homelessness.
To support people into homes and to engage positively with society, a housing first approach including supportive wrap around services capable of addressing and treating physical, psychological and emotional needs from start to end of care are crucial for a successful end to end support system capable of breaking the cycle of homelessness and poverty.
Understanding the limitations and barriers people experiencing homelessness currently face is the first step in understanding how as a society we can address and overcome these challenges.
Please make time to take time and learn more about the impact of homelessness. The more we know, the more we can do to help


Next Post

Delivering Easter Hampers

Wed Apr 5 , 2023
Yesterday we delivered 47 Easter hampers to families in financial crisis so children whose families celebrate Easter could still have a magical Easter Sunday when the Easter bunny visits. Today we will be delivering 38 more hampers and we have over 100 more to deliver over Thursday, Friday and Saturday. That’s more than 200 Easter hampers. Each Easter hamper is made individually for each family, and we make sure there is something inside for every family member in the house. Although we didn’t have a specific Easter fundraiser this year, these hampers were still made possible because of you. The […]