The Greatest Health Dangers Facing the Homeless and How You Can Help

January 24, 2019

Living on the streets comes with many health complications, most of which people with stable housing never think twice about. If you know you have a place to call home with heat and running water many of these ailments wouldn’t cross your mind.

Unintentional Injuries

You may stub your toe or hit your knee on the bed post but you aren’t at risk for stepping on glass because your shoes are covered in holes or accidentally catching your tent on fire trying to keep warm in the winter. Homelessness comes with a higher rate of injuries and even mortality. Falls and getting hit by cars are the top causes of injuries that lead to mortality in the homeless.

Malnutrition

Poor nutrition is rampant in the homeless community because they can’t physically get to or afford consistent access to healthy, fresh food. Many homeless people get by on eating fast food or canned food which is high in sugar and sodium if they eat anything at all. For those struggling with addiction this is even more serious because when given the choice between a healthy meal and their drug of choice, they would rather go hungry and high or drunk.

Dehydration

Water is heavy and hard to carry around which makes it hard for people living out of a tent to keep some on them. For homeless people that have an alcohol abuse problem, dehydration is the silent killer. In the heat of the Austin sun, failure to drink enough water and stay out of the sun can mean death. 

Infectious Diseases

We can all catch the occasional cold or flu but living on the streets comprises peoples immune systems in many ways. Constant exposure to the elements like the hot sun and windy rain make it hard to stay warm and dry. Poor nutrition and hygiene are exacerbated by overcrowded shelters and a lack of access to health care. The rate of sexually transmitted diseases like Hepatitis A, B and C and HIV is much higher among homeless citizens than the general public. 

There are many ways to help facilitate preventative care among the homeless community. Organize donation drives for greatly needed hygiene items like toothbrushes, toothpaste, bar soap, deodorant, etc. If you are a nurse or other medical practitioner volunteer to provide routine screenings. The easiest way to help is donate money to organizations that help provide health care and healthy meals to the local homeless community.

Art From the Streets rely on generous donations of people like YOU! 
Purchasing artwork supports the artists directly. 
Donating to our program helps us to offer a free Open Studio 
for the homeless and at risk. THANK YOU!
 



Also in News

How to Support Art From The Streets This Holiday Season
How to Support Art From The Streets This Holiday Season

November 07, 2019

Every year there is a spike in volunteering around the holiday season. Everyone is in the spirit of giving. Many people have never volunteered their time or money and aren’t sure where to start. Here are some ways you can support Art From the Streets this holiday season and beyond.

Read More

Voting While Homeless
Voting While Homeless

October 22, 2019

Contrary to popular belief, people do not need a home address to be able to cast votes in the U.S. Voting is a right written out in the U.S. Constitution. However, this does not guarantee that voting will be easy. As with most things, voting becomes significantly harder when someone is homeless.

Read More

The Power of Murals: How Public Art Improves Austin
The Power of Murals: How Public Art Improves Austin

October 09, 2019

Murals are a big part of what makes Austin, Austin. There are even tours you can take around town to take pictures in front of the most famous murals. Public art is an important part of this city and its roots run deep here. The city has a program as part of the Economic Development Department dedicated to public art called the “Art in Public Places” program. But what are the benefits of public art such as murals? 

Read More