Cover: Homelessness and Health

Homelessness and Health

Published In: Journal of the American Board of Family Practice, v. 10, no. 1, 1997, p. 67-71

Posted on rand.org 1997

by Lillian Gelberg

Describes the increased risk for illness among homeless persons and the barriers that prevent them from receiving care for their medical problems. Recognizing that the status quo is untenable for homeless people, potentially dangerous to the population at large, and both costly and inefficient, this article suggests ways in which efforts can improve the health of homeless persons, including an increase in funding for the Health Care for the Homeless Program; providing better access to dental, vision, and family planning services; supplying convalescent and longer term housing; better educating medical providers regarding the importance of working with this population and the ways in which medical practice has to be modified to be sensitive to the unique aspects of a homeless person's situation; and making a renewed commitment to ending, rather than managing, pervasive homelessness.

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