Mortality among homeless people

by catherinegamache on April 10, 2016 - 12:37pm

Last week I wrote a post about the increase of mortality among homeless people in British Columbia. Today, I found an article about a study that examines “mortality among homeless enrolled in Housing First”. Housing First is an approach that focusses on ending homelessness by providing housing and services to the people in need. In this article named “Examining mortality among formerly homeless adults enrolled in Housing First: An observational study” written by Benjamin F. Henwood and published by BMC Public Health, it is stated that HF people mortality rates are higher than those of the “general homeless population”. Even if these homeless people are part of a recovery program, there is still higher death rates compared to homeless who are not part of a program like HF. Throughout this study published in 2015, I found out that the causes of death are different between HF participants and general homeless population. Infectious diseases, suicide and HIV are more common among the non-participant homeless. On the counterpart, cancer and natural deaths are more frequent among HF participants. I believe that this peer-reviewed article can be linked and have an impact on the last news that I wrote about because results contradict themselves. In my last week’s article, I stated that, according to various studies, the number of deaths among homeless would decrease if these people were supported by some organizations. However, with Henwood’s article we can clearly notice that it is untrue. Agencies like HF help the people in need by offering them housing and services (food, clothes…) but they cannot explicitly prevent mortality. I think that these organizations are essential for the well-being of the homeless but they cannot save them from mortality or other obstacles. Only them can save them from homelessness and death caused by their living conditions. 

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