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Special Issue "Health and Health Care for Homeless People in Various Contexts"
A special issue of International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health (ISSN 1660-4601).
Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (11 December 2017).
Department of social epidemiology, Institut Pierre Louis d’Epidémiologie et de Santé Publique (IPLESP), Sorbonne Université, Inserm, F75012 Paris, France
Interests: environmental health; social epidemiology; vulnerable populations; outbreaks; epidemiology; children
Special Issues and Collections in MDPI journals
INSERM, Sorbonne Universités, UPMC Univ Paris 06, Institut Pierre Louis d’Épidémiologie et de Santé Publique, Department of social epidemiology, 27 rue Chaligny, 75012 Paris, France
Interests: social epidemiology; social exclusion; migrants health; homelesness; health care access; neighborhood factors; urban health
Homelessness has increased in recent years in many industrialized countries, even though this evolution and the profiles of homeless populations could differ according to national and local contexts. In some countries, people may have lost their homes at the peak of the economic crisis. In some wealthy cities, the cost of housing or the saturation of social housing may fuel a growing homeless population. Even in welfare states, some holes in safety nets may result in the inability to provide adequate housing to various populations for a number of reasons: Rural–urban migration, refugees, minorities, disabled, unemployed, poor or precarious people faced with misfortune, etc.
People experiencing homelessness are sicker than their housed counterparts. Studies of health and healthcare in homeless showed that their physical and mental health statuses are cause for concern. They are more likely to die prematurely—with a life expectancy no more than 50 years—have higer prevalence of sexually transmitted infections, heart attacks, chronic disease, invasive cancers, and mental health problems. The lack of secure and stable shelter, food, income, hygiene, and barriers in accessing health care make it nearly impossible to be healthy. Living conditions on the streets or in shelters (unstable housing, food insecurity, access to drinking water, irregular meal times, etc.) makes it more difficult to stick to complex medicine regimens and for medical follow-up. In addition, the homeless encounter many barriers to accessing health services, such as cost, language, transportation, and discrimination.
Being sick can also induce homelessness. For example, people with mental health diseases are at greater risk of becoming homeless because of their personal vulnerability, disaffiliation, lack of social support, and employment.
The evolution in homelessness in various countries makes it important to study the specific characteristics of some subgroups of homeless. For instance, in some places, the services targeting the homeless population were designed mainly for men, and may not be properly suited to women’s needs. In others, migrants or minorities represent a growing part of homeless people and have specific needs. Homeless children and families also raise specific problems and need specific responses.
Facing these issues, social and health care services and professionals have developped some new programs and practices that deserve to be disseminated in an international perspective, as do results of intervention research, which have been evaluated properly.
Given the potentially heterogeneous features of the homeless population, policy makers need indicators and results of quantitative studies to evaluate and monitor the health needs of these populations, as well as exemples of adequate responses, in order to legitimately allocate the required resources in a general context of public budget constraints.
Dr. Stéphanie Vandentorren
Dr. Pierre Chauvin
Manuscript Submission Information
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Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1800 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.
- Health status
- Chronic conditions
- Social and health care
- Intervention research
- Community care
- Migrants and minorities
- Women and children
- Mental health
- Preventive care
- Outreach care