You don’t have to dig deep into the statistics to see how homelessness affects health. One of the most recent reviews comes from Public Health England South East, yet the data mirrors what we see here. Homeless men die young – by an average age of 47 compared to 79.5 for the general population.
An estimated 41% of people classified as ‘rough sleepers’ have long-term physical health problems such as heart disease and diabetes, compared to 28% of the general population. Another 45% have been diagnosed with mental health issues, compared to 25%.
Evidence shows it is harder for the homeless to access health and social care services. This is often because it is difficult for people to navigate the system.
Haven Toronto helps elder homeless men
access the assistance that is available,
including financial, housing and health support.
Many vulnerable adults have complex needs suffering with mental health issues and/or substance abuse, yet they cannot access the services they need to get better. Many have physical health issues, which are compounded by the living on the streets.
The longer people are on the street, the more their issues spiral.