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Fact Sheets

The National Health Care for the Homeless Council’s fact sheets answer frequently asked questions about homelessness, medical respite care, policy, and research. Use them with new staff and volunteers, during governing board orientations, meetings with your legislators, as part of your agency’s press kits, or with your community partners and collaborators.

Homelessness & Adverse Childhood Experiences: The Health and Behavioral Health Consequences of Childhood Trauma | February 2019
Childhood trauma has lasting impacts on health outcomes and development. This fact sheet explores the impact of Adverse Childhood Experiences and provides screening and treatment options. This resource was developed in partnership with the National Network to End Family Homelessness, an initiative of The Bassuk Center on Homelessness and Vulnerable Children and Youth.

Homelessness & Health: What’s the Connection? | February 2019

Homelessness can take many forms, with people living on the streets, in encampments or shelters, in transitional housing programs, or doubled up with family and friends. While the federal government reports 1.5 million people a year experience homelessness, other estimates find up to twice this number of people are actually without housing in any given year. The connection between housing and homelessness is generally intuitive, but the strong link between health and homelessness is often overlooked. This fact sheet outlines how health and homelessness are intertwined—and why housing is health care.

Suicide and Homelessness: Data Trends in Suicide and Mental Health Among Homeless Populations | May 2018
Given the conditions that we know increase the likelihood of suicide in the general population, compounding factors faced when experiencing homelessness place those without homes at much higher risk. This fact sheet details common risk factors for suicidal behaviors, mental health and clinical utilization trends of HCH grantees reported in the 2016 Uniform Data System dataset, and circumstantial data reported in the National Violent Death Reporting System.

Addressing the Opioid Epidemic: How the Opioid Crisis Affects Homeless Populations | August 2017
America is facing an opioid crisis, and that epidemic has significantly impacted people without homes. This fact sheet examines the social determinants of health that contribute to that increased prevalence and morbidity. It also details the systemic barriers that hinder access to care and success in recovery for people without homes, as well as best practices to address those barriers.

Demonstrating Value: Measuring the Impact of the Health Care for the Homeless Grantees | August 2017
Demonstrating the value of health centers is a necessary element of sustainability and measuring benefit. To help illustrate that value, this document provides an overview of the complex challenges facing homeless populations, the history of Health Care for the Homeless, and the critical impact of the work of HCH programs.

Social Determinants of Health: Predictors of Health among People without Homes | October 2016
Over the past 30 years, SDOH have received increased recognition as factors that contribute to health inequities. Research has underscored the role of housing and health care access barriers in achieving positive health outcomes among people without homes, but there remains a great need to explore other factors which impact these outcomes. This publication explains social determinants of health, how they impact health and relate to individuals experiencing homelessness, and strategies and tools to address SDOH.

Prevention & Response to Infectious Diseases Within the Homeless Population | May 2016
Prevention and response procedures to infectious disease outbreaks often do not address the unique circumstances of persons experiencing homelessness. This fact sheet highlights infectious diseases within this population, addresses challenges in in the event of an outbreak, and provides strategies and tools that can be used to prevent and respond to emerging and re-emerging infectious diseases.

Crime Victim’s Compensation | October 2015
Crime Victim’s Compensation Programs aid victims with expenses in the aftermath of a crime. This fact sheet discusses such programs, how to apply, and strategies to overcome some barriers to use by people experiencing homelessness.

HCH and HIV fact sheet | October 2011
A one-page resource for HIV/AIDS prevention and treatment resources available through the National HCH Council’s website.

HCH fact sheet | April 2021
History, financing, and requirements of the health care for the homeless program. Use to educate community and government leaders about our program.

Harm Reduction: Preparing People for Change | April 2010
Harm reduction is an approach for substance use treatment that involves a set of practical techniques that are openly negotiated with clients around what is most likely to be achieved.

Medical Respite Care: Demonstrated Cost Savings | February 2010
Medical respite care meets the post-hospital recuperative care needs for people who are homeless while reducing public costs associated with frequent hospital utilization.

FAQs: Negotiating Medical Respite Care with Hospitals | January 2010
Hospital collaboration is essential to the success of medical respite programs. Hospitals are a source of patient referrals, data collection, and income for medical respite programs. In return, hospitals receive significant cost savings by avoiding inpatient stays and reducing readmission rates.

Homelessness & Health: What’s the Connection? | January 2010
Many people are reduced to homelessness in a downward cycle that begins with a health problem and rapidly escalates into employment problems, financial problems, and housing problems.

What is Single Payer Health Care? | September 2009
Defines single payer, compares the US to other countries on key health status indicators, examines myths vs. facts.

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