Research shows that the trauma of being homeless can cause people to develop mental health problems for the first time and can worsen existing behavioral health problems. Longer homelessness is linked to higher levels of mental distress and more damage caused by coping behaviors, such as substance use. There is abundant evidence on the health consequences of homelessness. At a fundamental level, homeless people have a higher premature mortality than those with adequate housing, and injuries, involuntary overdoses and extreme weather events are the main drivers of this mortality.
Homeless people also have a poor quality of life, which is characterized, as indicated in several studies, by chronic pain associated with poor sleep conditions and limited access to medications and other healthy resources. Skin and foot problems, dental problems, and chronic infectious diseases are also well described among homeless populations. For a comprehensive review of the health of the homeless, I would consult this published work. It has a domino effect on the entire community.
It affects the availability of health care resources, crime and security, the workforce, and the use of tax money. In addition, homelessness affects both the present and the future. It benefits us all to break the cycle of homelessness, one person, one family at a time. Much of the literature on the subject suggests that interventions that offer treatment for cases of substance use and mental illness and intervention approaches in critical times to mitigate the consequences of acute stress factors may be effective in reducing homelessness.