Social Impacts Without social support systems, homeless people live in the grim confines of society. Homelessness places people at greater risk of victimization, poor health, loneliness and depression, which can lead to chemical dependency, delinquency and many other problems. Homelessness often prevents people from accessing treatment. This makes health problems more dangerous, more costly and increases the risk to society in general.
When homeless people are admitted to a hospital, their stay lasts about four days longer than average, creating additional costs for the public. There is abundant evidence on the health consequences of homelessness. At a fundamental level, homeless people have a higher premature mortality than those who are properly housed, 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. In particular, the young homeless population is especially vulnerable to mental illness. Recent statistics from Verywell Mind show that 60 percent of the approximately 42 million young people have reported mental health problems.
Anxiety, depression, and suicidal thoughts are among some of the traumatic forms in which homelessness occurs. In addition, a Boston Medical Center study on the effects of housing instability revealed that falling behind in paying rent and having a homeless child further increased the likelihood of mental health problems. Maternal depressive symptoms were common in these families, along with cases of food and energy insecurity. The lack of access to mental health resources, such as medicines and counseling, further exacerbates these problems.
A number of services have been stepped up across the city to serve this population, including the new shelters and the Boston Homeless Health Care Program. It has been estimated that approximately three times as many homeless teens suffer from depression compared to other teens. Homeless children can experience family violence and addiction, social isolation, behavioral problems, irregular education, and lack of medical care. Focus Hope I and Focus Hope II are much-needed permanent housing programs for special populations, including individuals or families headed by homeless people with disabilities.
They include emergency room visits and hospitalizations, police intervention and incarceration, and the use of mental health, poverty and homelessness programs. Lacking adequate prenatal care, many children who are born homeless often have poor physical health. As long as you have a stable job and a roof over your head, homelessness isn't something you're really worried about. Unity Parenting understands that keeping young people off the streets is key to impacting the homeless crisis.
Homeless youth are especially vulnerable to drug use; a study found that 55 percent of street youth and 34 percent of youth in shelters have used illicit drugs since leaving home, compared to 13 percent of young people who have never been homeless. However, they do not ignore or supplant the centrality of approaches that address social policies and structural factors, including the absence of affordable housing and social safety nets aimed at vulnerable and low-income people, which ultimately sets the conditions for homelessness and unstable housing for marginalized populations. In the United States, homelessness is an often overlooked problem that has a massive impact on the health and well-being of families across the country. Homeless people can't eat enough nutritious food, sleep enough, practice basic hygiene, or maintain social distancing.
For homeless families, lack of access to resources often means that instead of paying for necessary health services, they can only afford basic services, such as food and water. The Harmony Village Transitional Housing Program provides transitional housing to homeless, single and parent youth between the ages of 18 and 24. Approximately one-third of the total homeless population includes people with serious untreated mental illnesses. .