Homelessness can take many forms, with people living on the streets, in encampments or shelters, in transitional housing programs, or doubled up with family and friends. While the federal government reports 1.5 million people a year experience homelessness, other estimates find up to twice this number of people are actually without housing in any given year.
The strong link between health and homelessness is often overlooked. On its own, homelessness is known to hasten the effects of physical aging on the body: continued stress, trauma, and uncertain living conditions exacerbates this. Exposure to the elements (including, in many cases, being forced to live and sleep outside in below-freezing temperatures and on hard surfaces like benches and sidewalks) makes people especially susceptible.
In many cases, people die while homeless of entirely treatable conditions. Without access to basic needs like food, shelter, and health care — and with no way to access critical support services — many succumb to the physical pressures of homelessness and austere environments.
As a form of building awareness and advocacy, we know that the best and most meaningful way to honor our lost colleagues, friends, and neighbors is to continue to fight so that not one more person is lost to homelessness.
Please join us for worship on Sunday, January 1 as we honor the memory of Central Church Outreach Neighbors who have died in the past year.
endhomelessness.org (National Alliance to End Homelessness)
nhchc.org (National Health Care for the Homeless Council)