People challenged by homelessness are living with several losses including the loss of a home, employment, economic security, health or well-being, and personal security. Assistance programs for people who are homeless consist of housing, emergency shelter, food services, employment assistance, peer support, medical care, and mental health services. An article by Riley et al. (Am J Epidemiol. 2011;175(5):515-522) appearing in this issue of the Journal examines the relation between basic subsistence needs and health outcomes in a cohort of 129 human immunodeficiency virus-infected women who were recruited from a probability sample of low-income hotels, homeless shelters, and free food programs in San Francisco, California. The results of their study underscore the importance of addressing subsistence needs and providing access to medical and psychological treatment for homeless and unstably housed women. In addition to subsistence needs, more attention should be given to comorbid psychiatric and medical conditions that occur among homeless women, including trauma-related disorders.
- acquired immunodeficiency syndrome
- homeless persons
- substance-related disorders
- veterans health
ASJC Scopus subject areas