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.
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: Military Misconduct and Homelessness Among US Veterans Separated From Active...
- Article: Emergency department use and hospitalizations among homeless adults with substance...
- Article: Disaster response and people experiencing homelessness: Addressing challenges of a...
- Homeless Health Concerns -- see more articles
- Homeless youth health issues -- see more articles
Finance and Policy
- Affordable Care Act's Role in Preventing and Ending Homelessness (United States Interagency Council on Homelessness)
- Understanding SSI: Spotlight on Homelessness (Social Security Administration) Available in Spanish