Homelessness is defined as living in housing that is below the minimum standard or lacks secure tenure. 

Homelessness is defined as households who define housing type at the time of interviews as either tent, cave, railroad car, unspecified housing unit, a boat, an RV, or an unoccupied site for a mobile home, trailer or tent.

Almost 40% of the total US homeless population is unsheltered, living on the streets or in cars or encampments.

Homeless carry their few possessions with them, sleeping in the streets, in doorways or in another space, on a more or less random basis.


There are nearly 1 million Americans homeless in any given week in the United States. 

An estimated 1.5% of Americans, approximately 4.5 million people, experience homelessness in a given year.

It is estimated that 580,000 individuals in the US experience homelessness on a single night.

In cities the homeless people account for 1% of the population.

Estimates of the homeless more than half have a mental illness or substance use disorder, and at least one in five have severe mental illness.

Systemic reviews and meta-analyses of 85 studies found that 67% of homeless have mental health disorders.

The studies report, 40% of participants had substance use disorders.

Homelessness has increased rapidly in the past decade: Domestic violence, substance abuse, losing jobs, unaffordable rent and issues with family are significant contributing factors.


In the United States, the typical homeless person is male and single.


Nearly 400,000 homeless are single and more than 150,000 our families.


Total of 37,000 homeless are veterans, 60% are men and minority individuals represent more than half of the homeless population.


Between five and 8 million people have experience homelessness during the past five years.


17 of every 10,000 persons living in the US experiences homelessness.


The number of homeless people worldwide has grown steadily in recent years.


Nearly half of the homeless population are older than age 50.


Major cities are experiencing open air drug use, human feces, medieval diseases, and homeless encampments.

Most racial minorities are overexpressed in the US homeless population.

The number of homeless people worldwide varies between 100 million and 1 billion people based on the exact definition used.


Homelessness affects people of all ages from infants to the elderly, includes veterans, minorities, undocumented, and mentally ill.


Non-white people are overrepresented in homeless populations, with such groups two and one-half times more likely to be homeless in the U.S. 


The median age of homeless people is approximately 35.


Homelessness is associated with poor cardiovascular health. 


Homeless adults are 40-50% more likely to die of heart disease than adults with stable housing.


Homeless remain in the hospital longer, more likely to be discharged to an intermediate care facility, more likely to be discharged against medical advice than  patients with stable housing.


Homelessness is a growing problem, likely exacerbated by shortage of affordable housing.


Homeless patients with acute  I are younger, less likely to have traditional risk factors and more likely to suffer from anxiety, depression, and substance-abuse than patients with stable housing.


Homeless individuals receive less aggressive cardiovascular care for AMI than patients with stable housing, including reduced utilization of coronary angiography, percutaneous revascularization and drug eluting  stents.


Homelessness and poverty are interrelated.


The  majority of homeless, 50–80%, are men, with single males particularly over represented.


The homeless experience higher rates of adverse physical and mental health outcomes: increased chronic disease severity, lung conditions, mental health illnesses and substance abuse are all often greater in homeless populations than the general population.


It is associated with a high risk of suicide attempts.


These individuals  have limited access to resources and are often disengaged from health services, making them more susceptible to extreme weather events and ozone levels. 


There is increased morbidity and mortality in the homeless population.


Public and private services exists to  provide food, shelter and clothing.


30 day hospital readmission rates are higher in homeless patients.


Homelessness  may have additional conditions, such as physical or mental health issues or substance addiction that  makes resolving homelessness a challenging policy issue.

Many health conditions are more common among people experiencing homelessness who are up to seven times more likely to lack health insurance, dementia is three times as common, stroke four times is coming, and epilepsy three times as common than the general population.

Proximately 25% of people living in homeless shelters have a mental health disorder and 35% have a substance use disorder.

1948 UN declaration: 


Everyone has the right to a standard of living adequate for the health and well-being of himself and of his family, including food, clothing, housing and medical care and necessary social services, and the right to security in the event of unemployment, sickness, disability, widowhood, old age or other lack of livelihood in circumstances beyond his control.


Modern homelessness started as a result of economic stresses in society and reductions in the availability of affordable housing.


In the United States, in the 1970s, the deinstitutionalisation of patients from state psychiatric hospitals was a precipitating factor that seeded the homeless population,.


The Community Mental Health Act of 1963 was a predisposing factor in setting the stage for homelessness in the United States.


Homelessness has migrated from urban to rural and suburban areas. 


The  number of homeless families has increased.


Many people lose their homes by government orders to make way for newer high rise buildings, roadways, and other governmental needs.


Foreclosures often lead to eviction of  tenants, as do  mortgage foreclosures.


Gentrification causes poor residents are priced out.


Inadequate housing is also a driver of foster care placements increasing from 13% to 17% over a two-year period of time.


Youth who have been involved in the foster care system are more likely to become homeless. 


A United States federal survey indicated that at least one-third of homeless men and women have serious psychiatric disorders or problems. 


Autism spectrum disorders and schizophrenia are the top two common mental disabilities among the U.S. homeless. 


Personality disorders are also very prevalent in homeless.


Migration, either domestic or foreign to the country, where the numbers of outstrip affordable housing


Natural disasters, including but not limited to earthquakes and hurricanes increase homelessness.


Poverty increases homelessness.


Prison release and re-entry into society is associated with homelessness.


Relationship breakdown, particularly in relation to young people and their parents, such as disownment is associated with homelessness.


Social exclusion because of sexual orientation increases homelessness.


Substance abuse or addiction, such as alcoholism or drug addiction are prominent findings in homelessness.


Associated with higher rates of geriatric syndromes, including functional decline, falls, frailty and depression than seniors in the general population


Traumatic brain injury is widespread among homeless people.


Homeless patients are more likely to suffer from acute kidney injury.


Armed conflict can create homeless refugees.


Some people choose to be homeless as a personal lifestyle choice.


Homelessness seen frequently in the chronically unemployed.


The basic problem of homelessness is the need for personal shelter, warmth, and safety.


Homeless have difficulty forming trust in systems and people.


Homelessness is also a risk factor for depression.


The homeless are often the victims of violent crime. 


Rent-controlled apartments contribute to shelter and street populations.

Before spending time with the homeless, most people fear them.


After spending time with the homeless, that fear is lessened or is no longer there.


The homeless often experience isolation. 


Non-profit organizations provide skill development and work opportunities to people with barriers to employment.


Street newspapers or magazines provide employment opportunity to homeless people.


Some homeless have paying jobs.


Many homeless seek other methods to make money: Begging panhandling, busking: performing tricks, playing music, drawing on the sidewalk, or offering some other form of entertainment in exchange for donations, and blood donation.


Homeless people can find returnable bottles and cans and bring them to recycling centers to earn money. 


All individuals who are in need of assistance are able to access employment and training services under the Workforce Investment Act (WIA), with veterans also being able to use the Veterans Workforce Investment Program.


The Veterans’ Employment and Training Service (VETS) offers a variety of programs targeted at ending homelessness among veterans..


Housing initiatives involve homeless people in the process of building and maintaining affordable shared housing,and providing housing but also giving homeless people employment income and work experience. 


There was a dramatic increase in family homelessness, with increasing number of impoverished and runaway children, teenagers, and young adults, which created a new substratum of the homeless population.


Many community organizations and social movements are taking action to reduce homelessness. 


Homeless shelters are most often for night sheltering.


There are some daytime shelters where people may receive meals, counseling until returning to their overnight sleeping arrangements. 


Many homeless people keep all their possessions with them, lacking access to storage. 


Homeless sleep in every conceivable type shelters from housing intents to homeless sanctuaries, homes , vehicles, 


sleeping bags, tents, or improvised shelter, such as a large cardboard box, under a bridge, in an urban doorway, in a park or a vacant lot, tunnels subways,


recreational vehicles, school buses, vans, sport utility vehicles, covered pickup trucks, station wagons, sedans, or hatchbacks. 


Vehicular homeless, comprise the fastest-growing segment of the homeless population.


Transitional housing provides temporary housing for the certain segments of the homeless population.


Health care for homeless people is a major public health challenge, with homeless people are more likely to suffer injuries and medical problems and poor nutrition, exposure to the elements, and a higher exposure to violence. 


The homeless have reduced access to medical services, in part,because they often lack identification or registration.


Homeless people with psychiatric disorders because clinical appointments may not be kept, medications  may not be taken as prescribed, medical and psychiatric histories are not accurate.


Homeless people often lose their belongings, and identification documents.


Without a photo ID, access to many social services, including healthcare is restricted.


Skin conditions, including scabies, are common in the  homeless who are exposed to extreme cold in the winter and have little access to bathing facilities. 


Homeless are affected by feet problems and have more severe dental problems than the general population.


Diabetes is widespread in the homeless population.


Communicable diseases are of great concern for the homeless: especially tuberculosis, which spreads more easily in crowded homeless shelters in high-density urban settings.


The age-adjusted death rates of homeless men and women are  four times those of the general U.S. 

People experiencing homelessness dye on  average at age 50 years, 27 years sooner than the average person in the US.

Homeless people in the UK have a life expectancy of 47 years, that is 30 years younger than the rest of the population.


The homeless  are at a significant increased risk to the effects of extreme weather events. 


The homeless population is more vulnerable to weather events due to their higher rates of chronic disease and lower socioeconomic status. 


The homeless experience a disproportionate burden of the effects of climate change.


Homeless persons have increased vulnerability to extreme weather events:  lack of housing, access to adequate food and water, reduced access to health care, difficulty in maintaining health care, sunburn, dehydration, and heat stroke.


Homelessness is associated with a increased incidence of insect bites which can lead to vector-borne infections.


Mental health conditions exaggerate the impact  of extreme weather events 


with reduced access to care and reduced ability to adjust to the environmental changes.


Psychiatric illness has been shown to triple the risk of death from extreme heat.


Adverse weather events exacerbate the mental and physical health conditions of the homeless.


Determining and counting homeless is very difficult in general due to their lifestyle habits.


Refugees, asylum-seekers, and internally displaced persons can also be considered homeless.


The continuum of homelessness refers to refugees as homeless individuals: loss their home, a lack of stable, safe and healthy housing, low income, impaired  access to services, problems of mental health, alcohol, and drug abuse or social disorganization, loss of identity and way of connecting with their culture.

Involuntary displacement of the homeless forces, the homeless to regularly relocate from one temporary location to another.

Involuntary displacement may be operationalized as sweeps, clearings, or cleanups and displacement is often done without connecting people to services or housing, and without regard for past trauma.

This displacement, often forces homeless to disperse away from services, resulting in loss of personal belongings, medications, identification cards, and social support.

Involuntary displacement, increases morbidity and mortality, worsens overdose, and hospitalizations, decreases initiation of medications for opioid use disorder and contributes to death among people experiencing homelessness who inject drugs.





Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *