Poor health can contribute to being homeless, and being homeless can lead to poor health. Limited access to health care can make it worse. That's why the health of homeless people in the United States is worse than that of the general population. Common health problems include
- Mental health problems
- Substance abuse problems
- Bronchitis and pneumonia
- Problems caused by being outdoors
- Wound and skin infections
Many homeless women are victims of domestic or sexual abuse. Homeless children have high rates of emotional and behavioral problems, often from having witnessed abuse.
Help such as shelters, health centers, and free meals are available. Contact your local homelessness assistance agency.
- For Homeless Veterans (Department of Veterans Affairs)
Journal Articles References and abstracts from MEDLINE/PubMed (National Library of Medicine)
- Article: Disaster-related communication preferences of homeless and nonhomeless VA patients.
- Article: Prevalence of Housing Problems Among Community Health Center Patients.
- Article: Hepatitis A Outbreak in California - Addressing the Root Cause.
- Homeless Health Concerns -- see more articles
- Homeless youth health issues -- see more articles
- Teens Homeless with Families More Likely to Self-Harm, Consider and Attempt Suicide than Youth with Homes (American Academy of Pediatrics) Also in Spanish