New report: The Unhealthy State of Homelessness 2022
Homeless Link, part of the Homeless Health Consortium within the VSCE Health & Wellbeing Alliance, have published a new report – The Unhealthy State of Homelessness 2022: Findings from the Homeless Health Needs Audit.
It is well known that people experiencing homelessness face significant health inequalities, and poorer health outcomes than the rest of the population. Diagnoses of physical and mental health conditions are much higher than the general population and many of those experiencing homelessness face early onset frailty.
The report presents findings from 31 Homeless Health Needs Audits (HHNAs), representing 2,776 individuals. It builds on the learning from their 2014 report, presenting up to date information on the health of people experiencing homelessness, and exploring what we know about whether the right services are available to adequately meet people’s needs. This report presents data in three waves, exploring how health inequalities have changed in the decade between 2012 and 2021.
Key findings include:
- People experiencing homelessness suffer from worse physical and mental health than the general population
- Between 2018 – 2021 63% of respondents reported they had a long term illness, disability or infirmity
- The number of people with a mental health diagnosis has increased substantially from 45% in 2014 to 82% in the 2018 – 2021 cohort
- 45% of respondents reported they are self-medicating with drugs or alcohol to help them cope with their mental health