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Greenland Health

Homelessness and Mental Health

According to  Baltimore Outreach Services, Inc. (BOS), On any given night, there are almost 3,000 individuals who are homeless in Baltimore. Baltimore Outreach Services (2018) stated that the challenges faced by homeless women and children are complex and multi-faceted. BOS (2018) further revealed that a recent study conducted in their emergency shelter reported that 40 percent of the women had substance abuse problems and severe mental health issues. According to Hwang in Henwood et al. (2013), homelessness causes delays in seeking health care,  non-adherence to
therapy and the adverse effects of homelessness itself can all exacerbate disease severity.

Furthermore, Hwang asserts that people who happen to be homeless are hospitalized about five times more often than the general population. Homelessness is an essential contributing factor to poor health and wellbeing. Homeless people are exposed to lengthy weather, infections, drugs, violence, and limited access to ongoing health care. As a result of this anomaly, homeless people tend to have a high incidence of acute and chronic health problems and premature mortality. Thus, the issue of homelessness is a critical healthcare concern that needs urgent intervention.

However, Burt et al. .as cited in Shinn et al. (2013), stressed that prevention strategies must be both effective (i.e., they must stop people from becoming homeless)  and efficient   (i.e.,   they must target help to people who would become homeless without it). I believe that there is no problem without a solution. Establishing Permanent supportive housing (PSH) system is essential in the process of eradicating homelessness. According to Henwood (2013), Permanent supportive housing (PSH) is an intervention to address long-term homelessness, which is effective as evidence shows a shift in US policy toward using PSH rather than shelters and transitional housing. PSH   programs make it possible for people to access affordable community-based housing with flexible support services that ensure a   broad array of health and psychosocial needs. PSH can be made possible and successful if taxpayers are taxed more to provide permanent housing for the homeless. Homelessness is a major public health issue, as this has a tremendous negative health impact on people who experience it. Becoming homeless is not a life choice. Therefore, we have to work together to curb this ugly issue of homelessness to promote the health and wellbeing of the people


Baltimore Outreach Services, Inc. (BOS) (2018) Homelessness is a significant problem in Baltimore City. Retrieved from http://www.baltimoreoutreach.org/Henwood,

B. F., Cabassa, L. J., Craig, C. M., & Padgett, D. K. (2013). Permanent supportive housing: addressing homelessness and health disparities?. American journal of public health, 103 Suppl 2(Suppl 2), S188–S192. https://doi.org/10.2105/AJPH.2013.301490


M.; Greer, Andrew L.; Bainbridge, Jay; Kwon, Jonathan; Zuiderveen, (2013).Efficient   Targeting  of  Homelessness Prevention  Services   for  Families.  American Journal ofpublic health, (103) 324-30. Retrieved   from  http://dx.doi.org.proxy-bs.researchport.umd.edu/10.2105/AJPH.2013.301468

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