Healthy London > Our work > Homeless health

Homeless health

Vision

Our vision is that every homeless person receives and experiences the same high quality of health care as the general population, and that health services do everything they can to support the prevention and reduction of homelessness.

Context

Levels of homelessness are high and rising in London. Homelessness is complex, can happen to anyone and takes many forms, including:

  • People who are sleeping rough on the street
  • People facing eviction, living in temporary or insecure accommodation (such as hostels, night shelters, B&Bs, squats or ‘sofa surfing’ )
  • People at risk of violence or other health threats in their current accommodation.

Homelessness can be a consequence of health problems, and is very commonly a cause of worsening health. The wellbeing of people who are homeless is at significant risk, especially those who live and sleep on the street. Many people who sleep rough will have significant needs in relation to physical health, mental health and substance misuse.

Current systems of healthcare struggle to meet their needs.

Homeless people are more likely to die young, with an average age of death of 44 for men and 42 for women (Deaths of homeless people in England and Wales: 2013 to 2017, ONS, 2018).

Our programme

The Healthy London Partnership’s Homeless Health Programme was formed in 2015 in response to the large and growing issues associated with the health of people who are homeless or sleeping rough in the capital.

We work with regional partners with the aim of improving access to healthcare and the capacity and capability of the system to respond to the needs of people who are homeless, to improve their health and reduce their hospital admissions.

Homeless health projects and guidance