Impact of Homelessness on Health

Parents and children in families experiencing homelessness typically have poorer physical
and mental health than their peers. In addition, these families have different health needs than individuals experiencing homelessness.

Health of Parents
-More than 92% of mothers in families experiencing homelessness experienced abuse at some point in their life
-44% were homeless or in foster care sometime during their own childhood
-36% suffer from PTSD and 50% have suffered from major depression while homeless
-Mothers experiencing homelessness are also likely to suffer from chronic health problems such as hypertension and asthma, which require continued monitoring that can be challenging without stable housing and a medical home

Health of Children
-Homelessness can have a particularly lasting impact on the health of children
-Deficiencies during childhood may create deficits that are difficult to overcome later in life
-Children are at highest risk from birth to age five, when significant mental and physical development is occurring
-These children are four times as likely to have asthma compared to children living in stable housing, and are twice as likely to have food insecurity
-Children experiencing homelessness also suffer from much greater rates of depression, anxiety, and behavioral problems
-Children experiencing homelessness are likely to experience delays in receiving medical care due to cost
-Children experiencing homelessness have two times the likelihood of not getting necessary prescriptions filled

Sources:
The National Center on Family Homelessness-Families
The National Center on Family Homelessness-Children
The National Center on Family Homelessness-Characteristics and Needs of Families Experiencing Homelessness