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.
- Background and Statistics (National Coalition for Homeless Veterans)
- Families Experiencing Homelessness (National Center on Family Homelessness)
- For Homeless Veterans (Department of Veterans Affairs)
- Help for Homeless Veterans (National Coalition for Homeless Veterans)
- Persons with Mental Illness Who Are Homeless or Missing: A Guide for Families (NAMI)
- Youth (United States Interagency Council on Homelessness)
Statistics and Research
- Current Statistics on the Prevalence and Characteristics of People Experiencing Homelessness in the United States (Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration) - PDF
- Overdose Deaths Among Homeless Persons (National Institute on Drug Abuse)
Journal ArticlesReferences and abstracts from MEDLINE/PubMed (National Library of Medicine)
- Article: Health Care for Homeless Veterans program. Final rule.
- Article: Health Outcomes of Obtaining Housing Among Older Homeless Adults.
- Article: Factors affecting exits from homelessness among persons with serious mental...
- Homeless Health Concerns -- see more articles
- Homeless youth health issues -- see more articles
Find an Expert
- Family and Youth Services Bureau (Administration for Children and Families)
- Healthcare for Homeless Veterans Programs by State (Department of Veterans Affairs) - PDF
- HRSA: Find a Health Center (Health Resources and Services Administration)
- National Center on Family Homelessness
- National Runaway Safeline
- Talk to a Housing Counselor (Department of Housing and Urban Development)
- United States Interagency Council on Homelessness
Finance and Policy
- Affordable Care Act's Role in Preventing and Ending Homelessness (United States Interagency Council on Homelessness)
- Criteria and Recordkeeping Requirements for Definition of Homeless (Department of Housing and Urban Development)
- Nutrition Assistance Programs (Social Security Administration) Available in Spanish
- Understanding SSI: Spotlight on Homelessness (Social Security Administration) Available in Spanish
- Bought and Sold: Helping Young People Escape From Commercial Sexual Exploitation (Family and Youth Services Bureau)