Health in Homelessness Strategies

Homelessness is not just a housing issue. A joint strategic response to the development of the homelessness review and strategy is important. The picture relating to health inequalities experienced by people who are homeless is a stark one. The picture from research into the health of the homeless population generally shows that in terms of the single homeless rough sleeper population: • 30-50% of homeless people experience mental health problems • About 70 % of homeless people misuse drugs • About 50% of homeless people are dependent on alcohol • Rough sleepers are 35 times more likely to kill themselves than the general population and have an average life expectancy of 42 years. • Physical health is poor, e.g. high rates of TB, respiratory problems and skin diseases.

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