The Tragic Reality of Homeless People's Life Expectancy

The average life expectancy of homeless people is a heartbreaking 42 to 52 years, a far cry from the life expectancy of the general population. This is due to the federal government's failure to prioritize housing justice, leaving millions of Americans to their own devices and to suffer through the misery of homelessness. The United States Preventive Services Task Force states that “major morbidities and causes of mortality among homeless people include cardiovascular disease, infectious diseases, substance abuse, and mental health problems. These types of poor health outcomes are often related to lack of access to stable housing, nutritious food, transportation, employment, access to quality health services and treatments, and health insurance.

Moreover, homeless people tend to experience the type of medical conditions that are common in people 20 years older than them. This is why no one should die without a safe place to call home in the world's wealthiest nation. These are our mothers, fathers, sons and daughters. They are our neighbors and friends, citizens of the United States of America. It is both a national embarrassment and a wake-up call to prioritize massive housing investments at all levels of U.

S. government. Since the 1980s, the federal government has cut billions of dollars in housing for low-income people, leaving local communities to bear the burden for what was once a federal priority, and abandoning the idea of housing as public infrastructure that supports society. Thousands more die on the streets every year across the United States due to natural causes, suicide, homicide, and hypothermia - things that could be prevented with adequate medical care and housing in the United States. In Nashville, 98 homeless people died this year alone.

In Los Angeles, 680 homeless people died this year. In response to this tragedy, many cities have instituted a ban on “tents” this year, banning people from taking refuge in public places. There are eight small city-authorized housing villages that support long-term shelters, although one village is marked to close. Advocates for national homeless services call for more federal funding. Some of DC's cooling centers won't be open for a third year. Nashvillians gathered in Riverfront Park to honor the 98 homeless people who died this year.

Allen, who is homeless, called on city officials to consider the voices of the homeless and prioritize affordable housing as Nashville continues to develop. A report released by the Minnesota Department of Health and the Hennepin Health Research Institute in January highlights Campbell's concerns and experience, noting that homelessness worsens people's health and shortens their life expectancy. The report also found that there was an increase in mortality rates among homeless people in all racial groups. Since then, hundreds of millions of dollars have been allocated to opening new shelters and improving existing ones, building affordable housing, and creating a better safety net to prevent vulnerable people from becoming homeless in the first place. We believe that ending homelessness starts with hearing the stories of those who have experienced it. Many people in communities across the country work every day to support those who identify as homeless. Crum and the researchers expressed hope that policymakers and service providers will use the report to identify and close gaps in reducing homelessness. Homeless people have about the same life expectancy as residents of the United States in 1910. It is clear that assistance needs to be available before someone turns 65 or they may already be dead by then.

Housing is a human right which helps homeless people have dignity and enthusiasm for life. We must prioritize massive housing investments at all levels of U. S government if we want to end homelessness.