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Health Conditions Among Unsheltered Adults in the U.S.


The California Policy Lab analyzed responses from more than 64,000 adults in the United States experiencing both sheltered and unsheltered homelessness. Unsheltered adults are far more likely to report suffering from chronic health conditions, mental health issues, and experiences with trauma and substance abuse problems as compared to homeless people who are living in shelters. As policymakers design interventions for unsheltered individuals and balance investments in emergency housing and permanent housing, they will need to consider whether emergency housing is adequate or appropriate for a highly vulnerable population, half of whom are trimorbid.

This work has been supported, in part, by the University of California Multicampus Research Programs and Initiatives grant MRP-19-600774

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