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Homelessness in the United States
- 630,000 homeless in the US in 2012, thousands in Philadelphia
- Over 3% of the US population has been homeless during the past 5 years
- Homeless = no stable residence
Temporary shelters, unsheltered locations (the street, transit stations, parked cars), etc.
- High rates of legal issues, substance abuse/dependency, & lack of stable employment
Severe mental illness = overrepresented & linked to severe health disparities
- Higher risk for all-cause mortality (primarily due to injuries, overdose, CV disease)
Mortality rates 3-4x higher than the general population
Chronic & acute mental & physical health conditions
HIV, tuberculosis, hypertension, diabetes mellitus, Hepatitis C
Life expectancy: 42-52 years for the chronically homeless
- Disproportionately low numbers / low quality of social supports
- The current “continuum of care” model:
Outreach à treatment à transitional housing à permanent supportive housing
Perceived by the homeless as a series of hurdles, often not possible to overcome
- No empiric support in favor of the practice of requiring individuals to participate in psychiatric treatment or to maintain sobriety before being housed
Poor health is a risk factor for homelessness, and homelessness is a risk factor for increased health needs.
Housing First: A Solution to Urban Homelessness, CWIC, Thomas Jefferson University
Medicine and Health Sciences | Public Health
Capron, Kelsey L. and Weinstein, MD, Lara C., "Housing First: A Solution to Urban Homelessness" (2015). CWIC Posters. 2.