Health Consequences of Homelessness
The death rate for those who are homeless is four times greater than the rate experienced by the general population. The rate is even higher among young homeless men. On average, homeless individuals die 20 years earlier than the general population. Further to that, the chances of a homeless man living to the age of 75 is just 32% while homeless women have a 60% chance of reaching that age. These conditions and stresses faced by homeless individuals have health consequences. Approximately 85% of homeless individuals suffer from a chronic health conditions, 30% have a mental illness and the homeless population is five times more likely to be hospitalized than the general public, and they typically stay for longer.
According to the State of Homelessness in Canada Report, 2013, “The longer one is homeless, the greater likelihood that pre-existing and emergent health problems worsen (including mental health and addictions) and there is greater risk of criminal victimization, sexual exploitation and trauma.”