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“There are many assumptions about homeless people. Perhaps the most common is that they are too lazy to work. Having been there myself and having worked with many others in the same situation, I have to say that for the vast majority of homeless people . . . “

Brian Altonen‘s insight:

But what about kids?


Does the health of homeless people impact you?


At Catholic Online, the article ‘Tuberculosis sweeping through Los Angeles’s population’ attempts to explain this (  The authors state:



"Tuberculosis is also common among the homeless as they live in overcrowded areas and are constantly moving among hospitals, shelters and the streets. In addition, many have substance abuse or mental health issues that can impede treatment.

"’They go from place to place and the likelihood of passing it along is much greater,’ Paul Gregerson, chief medical officer of the JWCH Institute says. The organization runs a homeless healthcare program on skid row. ‘It makes everybody more susceptible.’

"Tuberculosis is easily transmitted by inhaling droplets from infected patients when they sneeze, cough — or even laugh. TB can be deadly if left untreated. The skid row strain can be treated with all anti-TB medications. Treatment lasts six to nine months.

Most of the TB patients are men. Twenty percent are also HIV-positive, according to the alert. Six of the eight patients who also had HIV have died.

The increase of TB among the homeless population is occurring even as the county is seeing a decline in overall cases."



The majority of homeless people with Tb are adults.  The majority of Congenital Tb cases in newborn children is coincidentally distributed around many of the same urban settings where homeless is more common.  Both are products of urban settings with dense populations and desirable living space (even on behalf of the homeless).


"One of the four goals of Opening Doors is to finish the job of ending chronic homelessness by 2015.  Working together to implement proven solutions, we can continue to make progress towards our goal."  (Source:

According to Opening Doors . . . 

As long as there are homeless populations, there will be pockets of families and individuals who never receive complete health care.  Typically we hear about Mental Health, HIV, poor nutrition, drug use, the poor management of chronic diseases such as diabetes or epilepsy as primary concerns of community health groups.    


But there is more to this public health issue than normally considered.


My page which includes a review of this topic for Portland, Oregon, is:



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