Homelessness dramatically elevates the risk of illness, injury and death. At every age, homeless persons are three times more likely to die than their housed peers. The average age of death for a homeless person is 50, compared to 78 for the general population. Homeless people die from illnesses that could be prevented or treated. The difficulty getting rest, staying on a medication schedule, eating well, staying clean and staying warm prolong and exacerbate illnessess and injuries, sometimes to the point where they become life threatening.
December 21st, the shortest day of the year, is Homeless Persons' Memorial Day. It is very difficult to track homeless people who die, because dying as a result of having been homeless doesn't necessarily mean dying while homeless. Often people who have been homeless die in nursing homes, hospitals, shelters or in permanent housing obtained too late to do much good.
Please help us commemorate those who die because of homelessness. If you know of someone, please tell us what you can.