The Hardships of Aging, Homelessness and Affordable Housing

English: Homeless man in New York 2008, Credit...

(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Aging and living on the streets are tough experiences in their own right, but when you put the two together it’s bound to become a major issue.  In Baltimore there’s an estimated 4,000 people who are homeless each night and this population is growing older.  This is part of a national trend that estimates that nearly half of all single adults who are homeless are 47 years old or older.

The health hardships of living on the street are many; from the obvious issues of exposure to extreme weather and a lack of food, to the not so obvious issues of having no place to refrigerate your insulin if you are diabetic and the inability to get to a doctor if you have a serious foot or leg ailment.  Oftentimes, treatment is not sought until the health issue has become so dire that the patient ends up in an expensive emergency room.

According to many experts and Dennis Culhane, a social policy professor at the University of Pennsylvania who has studied homelessness and demographics extensively, it would cost less to house people who are homeless than do nothing and continue this cycle of homelessness and emergency medical care.

In Baltimore, we are lucky to have organizations like Healthcare for the Homeless who provide medical treatment and housing support for homeless individuals and families.  However, a more systemic approach to creating sustainable, affordable housing just makes sense from both a social and fiscal standpoint in Baltimore and nation-wide.

 

Andrea Perri

Project Specialist

Campaign Consultation, Inc.

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I came to Campaign Consultation with a strong background in social work and community organizing. I am also a former Peace Corps health volunteer who served in The Gambia working on maternal and child health care projects.In my role as Project Specialist, I assist with project research, content development and other support for the Social Innovation Fund, George Washington University Freshman Day of Service and other projects.Read more.

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