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Homeless Health Concerns

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Poor health can contribute to being homeless, and being homeless can lead to poor health. Limited access to health care can make it worse. That's why the health of homeless people in the United States is worse than that of the general population. Common health problems include

  • Mental health problems
  • Substance abuse problems
  • Bronchitis and pneumonia
  • Problems caused by being outdoors
  • Wound and skin infections

Many homeless women are victims of domestic or sexual abuse. Homeless children have high rates of emotional and behavioral problems, often from having witnessed abuse.

Help such as shelters, health centers, and free meals are available. Contact your local homelessness assistance agency.

Start Here

  • (Department of Housing and Urban Development)
  • (United States Interagency Council on Homelessness)


  • (Department of Veterans Affairs)

Statistics and Research

  • From the National Institutes of Health (National Institute on Drug Abuse)

Journal Articles References and abstracts from MEDLINE/PubMed (National Library of Medicine)

Find an Expert

  • (Health Resources and Services Administration)


  • (Nemours Foundation) Also in
  • (National Center on Family Homelessness) - PDF
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