Homelessness is bad for your health
Figures released this week shows the number of homeless people admitted to hospital has risen by 60% in the past four years.
In the past year, 78,000 hospital visits – one every seven minutes – were made by people with no fixed abode in England, research from The Salvation Army shows. In the same period, people presenting to A&E also increased by 33%.
James, who leads on our health services, said “Homelessness is bad for your health. We understand that not having safe and secure housing can contribute to poor physical and mental health, and it can also be difficult to register and access services without an address or the means to make or attend appointments. That’s why when people come to Your Place for help to move on from homelessness, support to improve their health and wellbeing and feel confident using those services is such an important part of our offering.”
Of the people we work with at Your Place, 52% report physical health and mental health issues that affect their daily life. We work in partnership with various organisations including the NHS to deliver support and advice on-site for regular sessions and screenings. This includes regular stop smoking and sexual health clinics, alcohol and drug use support, vaccinations for Covid-19 and pneumonia, flu jabs, TB screening, fibro scans to assess the health of the liver, Hep B and C testing, as well as visits by dentists and GPs.
Rita*, a resident at Your Place, said, “When I came to Your Place I had a really bad back, and was experiencing depression. They’ve helped me to get the help I need, and though I still have some way to come, I am feeling much better, my mood has improved and I’m not feeling so isolated. I can’t always move around too much with my back, so it’s helpful having the support right here, including health checks, when I need it.”
We also support residents where needed with appointments and advocacy, and work with them to design peer-led sessions on topics that are important to them. Over the last year, these sessions have included focuses on coping with stress, understanding mindfulness, assertiveness and boundary setting, coping with anxiety, preparing for winter wellbeing and non-drinking in social situations. We also run sessions such as yoga and guided painting to support residents’ health and wellbeing.
If you have a service you can offer to contribute to our wellbeing support, we’d love to hear from you. We’re particularly keen to explore cancer screening and a mobile dental clinic. Please get in touch on firstname.lastname@example.org or to make a donation to support our work please click here.
*the resident asked us to change their name.