For every one person in Canada who is homeless, another 23 live in unsafe, crowded or unaffordable housing, meaning the country's housing crisis is even worse than previously thought, according to Dr. Stephen Hwang of St. Michael's Hospital in Toronto.
Those "vulnerably housed" people have the same severe health problems and dangers of assault as homeless people, said Hwang, principal investigator of a new report on housing and health issues in Vancouver, Toronto and Ottawa.
"The key point is that Canada needs a national housing strategy," Hwang said. "We all recognize that health care is important for good health, and so we have universal health care. Decent and affordable housing is just as essential for good health."
The report, "Housing Vulnerability and Health: Canada's Hidden Emergency," will be released Nov. 19 in Ottawa at the annual research forum of the Alliance to End Homelessness in Ottawa. It contains startling new data from the first Canadian study to chart the changes over time in the health and housing status of the homeless and vulnerably housed and the first to compare their health outcomes.
There is no accurate count of the number of homeless people in Canada, because so many are hidden or sleep on the streets or friend's couches. In 2005, the federal government estimated there were 150,000 homeless Canadians, or about 0.5 per cent of the population, although homeless advocates have always said the number was much higher.
The report by Hwang's group notes there are 17,000 shelter beds regularly available across the country. But, for each person staying at a homeless shelter, there are another 23 people -- about 400,000 across Canada -- who are vulnerably housed and at risk of becoming homeless, meaning they had a place to live, but it was in bad condition, crowded, unsafe or cost more than 50 per cent of their income.
"Before now, researchers and decision-makers have often thought of these groups, the homeless and the vulnerably housed, as two distinct populations, with two different levels of need," Hwang said. "This study paints a different picture."
According to the report, both groups of people share the following problems:Chronic health conditions such as arthritis (33 per cent), Hepatitis B and C (30 per cent) and asthma (23 per cent)
Hwang is a physician in the Centre for Research on Inner City Health at St. Michael's. He leads a group called the Research Alliance for Canadian Homelessness, Housing, and Health (REACH3), which includes some of Canada's leading academic researchers and community organizations with expertise on homelessness. The study of longitudinal changes in the health and housing status of 1,200 homeless and vulnerably houses single adults in Vancouver, Toronto and Ottawa is one of REACH3's projects and is known as the Health and Housing in Transition (HHiT) study.
About St. Michael's Hospital:
St. Michael's Hospital provides compassionate care to all who enter its doors. The Hospital also provides outstanding medical education to future health care professionals in more than 23 academic disciplines. Critical care and trauma, heart disease, neurosurgery, diabetes, cancer care, and care of the homeless are among the Hospital's recognized areas of expertise. Through the Keenan Research Centre and the Li Ka Shing Knowledge Institute, research at St. Michael's Hospital is recognized and put into practice around the world. Founded in 1892, the Hospital is fully affiliated with the University of Toronto.
For more information, a copy of the report or to interview Dr. Hwang, contact:Leslie Shepherd
Leslie Shepherd | EurekAlert!
New model connects respiratory droplet physics with spread of Covid-19
21.07.2020 | University of California - San Diego
Risk of infection with COVID-19 from singing: First results of aerosol study with the Bavarian Radio Chorus
03.07.2020 | Klinikum der Universität München
Scientists at the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT have come up with a striking new addition to contact stamping technologies in the ERDF research project ScanCut. In collaboration with industry partners from North Rhine-Westphalia, the Aachen-based team of researchers developed a hybrid manufacturing process for the laser cutting of thin-walled metal strips. This new process makes it possible to fabricate even the tiniest details of contact parts in an eco-friendly, high-precision and efficient manner.
Plug connectors are tiny and, at first glance, unremarkable – yet modern vehicles would be unable to function without them. Several thousand plug connectors...
An international research team has found a new approach that may be able to reduce bone loss in osteoporosis and maintain bone health.
Osteoporosis is the most common age-related bone disease which affects hundreds of millions of individuals worldwide. It is estimated that one in three women...
Traditional single-cell sequencing methods help to reveal insights about cellular differences and functions - but they do this with static snapshots only...
“Core-shell” clusters pave the way for new efficient nanomaterials that make catalysts, magnetic and laser sensors or measuring devices for detecting electromagnetic radiation more efficient.
Whether in innovative high-tech materials, more powerful computer chips, pharmaceuticals or in the field of renewable energies, nanoparticles – smallest...
An international research team with Prof. Cornelia Denz from the Institute of Applied Physics at the University of Münster develop for the first time light fields using caustics that do not change during propagation. With the new method, the physicists cleverly exploit light structures that can be seen in rainbows or when light is transmitted through drinking glasses.
Modern applications as high resolution microsopy or micro- or nanoscale material processing require customized laser beams that do not change during...
23.07.2020 | Event News
21.07.2020 | Event News
07.07.2020 | Event News
06.08.2020 | Earth Sciences
06.08.2020 | Power and Electrical Engineering
06.08.2020 | Life Sciences