Free Essay Example. the Homeless and Health Promotion

Published: 2023-02-16
Free Essay Example. the Homeless and Health Promotion
Type of paper:  Course work
Categories:  United States Healthcare policy Community health Social issue
Pages: 3
Wordcount: 702 words
6 min read

The health care system of the United States has failed due to its neglect of vulnerable populations, especially those who are homeless. According to a count done in 2018, homeless people were about 552,830 in a single night (U.S Department of Housing and Urban Development, 2018). Homeless people in the United States are unable to afford the high cost of living forced to live in the streets. The health of this group suffers tremendously and given that they cannot afford houses, affording healthcare becomes an even bigger problem. On the other hand, the system also focuses on treatment as opposed to prevention which has led to increased costs and poor health. Although the government has put measures to improve the health of its citizens, homeless people are marginalized, and the treatment based system has overshadowed the need to prevent diseases.

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Health Risks and Problems Faced by the Homeless

Homeless people live in poverty depending on the generosity of people passing by to survive. Due to these extreme levels of poverty, homeless people are not only unable to cater for their basic needs, but also their healthcare needs. Since they live in the streets, homeless people, are at risk of contracting chronic diseases. A section of homeless people is in that state due to some conditions they have faced. Some are disabled hence the families that are unable to offer support force them to leave, and others are infected with the Human Immuno-deficiency Virus (HIV). Another group is addicted to drugs and end up financially strained. The harsh conditions, including cold temperatures, and the lack of food, lower the body's defence mechanism and expose them to diseases (Labani, 2018). In 2018, 918 homeless people died in Los Angeles County (Gorman & Rowan, 2019). The deaths have been attributed to drug use and prolonged illnesses (Gorman & Rowan, 2019). The government should not ignore homeless people, especially in matters concerning their health. The government needs to step in and guarantee healthcare to such vulnerable populations despite their economic and social status. As a result of the health risks and problems experienced by homeless people, their health continues to deteriorate, and unless the government intervenes, the situation will only worsen.

The Importance of Health Promotion and Disease Prevention

The health care system focuses more on treatment and pays little attention to prevention. The government should shift to prevention measures which will reduce the need for treatment lowering the overall cost of healthcare. Car owners who regularly take their cars for service, drive carefully, and solve any problems as soon as there is any hint will avoid car problems. These car owners will also incur less cost than owners who wait until the car is broken to go for repair. The YMCA's Diabetes Prevention Program confirms this analogy. The program has proven successful, enabling its beneficiaries to lose weight, thus lowering the risk of diabetes (Frist & Rivlin, 2015). The cost of the program was found to be lower than the treatment of patients with diabetes (Frist & Rivlin, 2015). The initiative by insurance plans to allocate more resources to treatment is misguided and outdated. Therefore, the government should switch to a value-based approach that focuses on prevention to improve the health of the public while lowering the costs involved.


The healthcare system of the United States needs to be reviewed to cater to the needs of its citizens. Vulnerable populations, more so homeless people are not sufficiently catered for leading to poor health and death. On the other hand, the government should consider altering the health care system to focus more on prevention than on treatment to promote healthy living, reduce mortality rates while also reducing the high cost of treatment.


Frist, B., & Rivlin, A. (2015, May 28). The power of prevention. U.S. News. Retrieved from

Gorman, A., & Rowan, H. B. (2019). The Homeless are dying in record numbers on the streets of Los Angeles. Kaiser Health News. Retrieved from

Labani, S. (2018). Homelessness and public health. Retrieved from

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (2018). The 2018 Annual Homeless Assessment Report. Retrieved from

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