Homelessness and Healthcare in the United States


In contemporary society, the heath of the nation if one of the major concerns as it impacts the functioning of fundamental institutions. The healthcare sector and government, as providers of interventions needed for people to recover, play a vital role in the new environment aimed at the promotion of the quality of life and elimination of factors that might pose a threat to individuals. However, homeless people are still excluded from the improvement process, which can be dangerous for society.

If the problem remains unaddressed, the decrease in health status of communities can be observed because of the spread of chronic and infectious diseases, problems with mental status, and the overall deterioration of the environment. It will pose a serious threat to the well-being of the nation and wide populations, and, that is why, the question should be given attention to avoid critical outcomes. Homeless people receive inadequate attention from the public and care facilities due to governing laws implemented, and the overall attitude of neutrality, a trend that results in them receiving inadequate assistance on the social and medical fronts.

Inadequate Attention

The lack of comprehensive analysis and understanding of the current situation is one of the major issues related to the problem. For instance, in the previous decade, little attention was devoted to the investigation of the problem of homeless people and the barriers they face (Tsai et al., 2017). The existence of certain programs designed to meet their needs has always been taken as an appropriate measure to ensure their inclusion in various processes (Gent, 2017). However, these measures are not sufficient enough as there is a critical diversification of needs representatives of this cohort have and only their in-depth, comprehensive analysis can help to achieve positive shifts in the attitude to homeless people and include them in the public agenda.

The existing paradox is that along with the promotion of the need for the improvement of the health of the nation, the government and local authorities cannot introduce an effective practice to reconsider the situation and align the mechanism of problem-resolution (Tsai, Jenkins, & Lawton, 2017). It means that there are no local regulations aimed at simplifying the access to needed care for this category.

Moreover, there is a limited number of facilities ready to work with the homeless in terms of existing governmental programs. This tendency is also associated with the peculiarities of the public agenda, which includes other problems in the sphere of its interest (Tsai et al., 2017). Under these conditions, the question of homeless people remains topical and demands immediate interventions to avoid its future deterioration.

Negative Attitude

Another source for the appearance of the problem is the overall negative attitude toward homeless people. In the majority of cases, they are not recognized as citizens who can be included in public deliberation or debates (Gent, 2017). This comes from the prejudiced attitude, poverty, and powerful stereotypic patterns peculiar to the representatives of the society. As a result, in multiple situations, citizens without residential space are deprived of an opportunity to enjoy services that are available to other cohorts (Gent, 2017). This becomes dangerous as the exclusion of a social class from the interaction and collaboration creates a precedent that can slow down the evolution of the state and lay the ground for the appearance of new, even more complex issues.

Inadequate Assistance

Minorities face a higher risk of developing health issues. There is credible evidence showing that people without dwelling experience multiple adverse effects (Zlotnick, Zerger, & Wolfe, 2013). The data from the research indicates that representatives of this cohort show disproportionally high rates of HIV, hypertension, infestations, tuberculosis, respiratory diseases, and other chronic conditions if to compare with other populations (Zlotnick et al., 2013). It means that their treatment can be a complex and expensive task that demands the utilization of various resources. Poverty and homelessness act together and create the basis for the continuous deterioration of the given class’ state. Today, the solution to the given problem seems a sophisticated issue as there are many aspects that go along with it.

Speaking from the perspective of the healthcare sector, the general improvement of health is impossible without the resolution of problems peculiar to the discussed cohort. The fact is that homelessness is a significant determinant of health because of the existence of a bidirectional relationship between these two phenomena (Otokiti, Thein, & Alabi, 2018).

Mental disorders, chronic and infectious diseases, and other problematic conditions might come from the development of this factor and affect all population groups. That is why the effective resolution of the given issue becomes one of the primary concerns of the modern healthcare sector as t should deliver care to all population groups, regardless of their status or problems they face at the moment (Otokiti et al., 2018). Unfortunately, for individuals without dwelling, there is still inadequate assistance on the social front, which results in the aggravation of issues they face and the appearance of new, more complex ones.

The given set of factors indicates the need for positive change to ensure that there will be improvements in the sphere. The main actors involved in relevant processes are optimistic about the achievement of desired goals. Directors of low-income medical clinics or centers emphasize the fact that poor and homeless people should realize the fact that they can ask for care, go to a dentist, or another specialist as it will become a critical determinant of their health and help to achieve positive results (Davis-Berman, 2016). The given goal demands the creation of wellness programs that consider all topical problems and issues peculiar to homeless people and provide needed interventions to ensure that they can enjoy the beneficial environment or mitigate the negative effects of some problematic conditions.

Conclusion

Altogether, the problem of homeless people remains topical for contemporary society. This cohort receives inadequate attention from the public and care facilities due to governing laws implemented, and the overall attitude of neutrality. The lack of attention and investigation of the issue results in the absence of facilities, programs, and approaches for care delivery. In such a way, representatives of these cohorts suffer from multiple diseases such as HIV, tuberculosis, dental problems, and chronic illnesses. In the future, improvement of the situation in the sphere demands a systemic approach to create a new attitude towards people without dwelling and guarantee that their requirements will be considered by local authorities or health facilities.

It will help to improve the health of the nation, decrease infectious diseases’ rate, and improve the well-being of communities by promoting the healthier environment. The idea of neutrality or disregard of the problem cannot be a useful measure anymore as there is a demand for the creation of beneficial conditions for all citizens regardless of their status. The majority of research works revolving around the issue emphasize the idea that as one of the negative factors impacting individuals, homelessness should be taken as a social stigma and discussed at the national level.

References

Davis-Berman, J. (2016). Negotiating the service system: Professionals and patients talk about healthcare for the homeless in a Midwestern City in the U.S. Journal of Social Distress and the Homeless, 25(1), 19-25.

Gent, W. (2017). When homelessness becomes a “luxury”: Neutrality as an obstacle to counterpublic rights claims. Quarterly Journal of Speech, 103(3), 230-250.

Otokiti, A., Thein, Y., & Alabi, O. (2018). Challenges faced by the homeless population in New York City: An analysis of healthcare delivery and utilization of care. New York Medical Journal, 1-9.

Tsai, T., Jenkins, D., & Lawton, E. (2017). Civil legal services and medical-legal partnerships needed by the homeless population: A national survey. The American Journal of Public Health, 107(3), 398-401.

Zlotnick, C., Zerger, S., & Wolfe, P. B. (2013). Health care for the homeless: What we have learned in the past 30 years and what’s next. The American Journal of Public Health, 103(S2), S199-S205.