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Homelessness, Severe Mental Illness, and The Institutional Circuit

Abstract on Homelessness in London

Homelessness is a very critical matter that is mostly assumed by governments and is worse in the third world countries. However, in London, the mayor, Sadiq Khan has noted that the city of London is on its peek as it harbors more than a quarter of the total population of homeless people in Europe. Homelessness in London is however mitigated by the help of the government through the mayor as he launched a plan to reduce and help the homeless by doubling up shelters and requesting for any donations from organizations or private entities to these shelters or other homes that harbors homeless people. In this report, it was necessary to look upon this matter and conducted a research in the city of London to understand what causes homelessness, what are its effect to the physical health status of the victim, what will it affect the most and how, how can it be managed and its link with drug and substance abuse and mental health. The method of data collection was through questioners and face to face interviews with victims and family members. The data was analyzed in all aspects and a conclusion was made. Homeless people in London have increased in London due to many aspects and the main reason was found to be increase in economic hardship. These economic aspects include employment, government policies and other factors. It was also recommended that the government should encourage building homes and shelters for this people and help in doing this by even offering subsidies to products bought by these firms or even get duty free imports by the organizations. The government can also support any plan by these firms or even support motions in parliament that tend to fare homeless people and most of all, create job employments for them. This and other plans can help in mitigating and managing homelessness in the city of London. This research paper tends to answer the question on how homelessness has affected the health of people and how the health of people can cause homelessness. 

Introduction to Homelessness in London

Homelessness can be defined living in housing that is below the normal standards. And lack secure tenure. Homelessness can be categorized into three types, the primary homelessness, secondary homelessness and tertiary homelessness. Primary homelessness is where people live on the streets, secondary homelessness is where people live with his friends or in a temporally and emergency accommodation and lastly the tertiary homelessness is where people live in boarding houses (Aubry, 2016). Homelessness can also be defined as a state where a person could not acquire or maintain a regular, safe or even a secure house due to poverty and lack of income homeless ness has been slowly increasing from the past decade and has raised a lot of concerns. In the year 2015, on a research on worldwide population on homelessness and it was found out that more than a hundred million people in the world were homelessness and one billion people live in squatters and refugees camp others in temporary shelters with insufficient housing equipment. Men are found to dominate the population of homeless people making up 50-80% of the whole population. There are some of serious disadvantages associated with homelessness and can range from both physical to emotional (Tsai, 2015). However, there are some organizations, government programs and other private organizations that help in managing the challenge by providing services that assist the homeless people. In most cities, homelessness was associated with mental a condition that challenges the program in a way that is difficult to manage the mentally unstable. In this research, a more direct strategy was used so that the audience can properly understand the kind of message being communicated. The use of a questioner was used to the literate and recording for interviews for the illiterate persons. Consent was asked before investigating victims or questioning willing subjects.

Methodology of Homelessness in London

The method of obtain data in this research was by the use of questionnaires and face to face interviews to the victims and other willing informers. In the questionnaire, the following were the kind of questions asked in both the interviews and questionnaires:

  1. What is homelessness?
  2. What causes homelessness?
  3. How does homeless ness affect the health of a person?
  4. How does the economy affect homelessness
  5. How does homelessness affect the economy?
  6. Relationship between homelessness and crime?
  7. Which gender is mostly homeless and why?
  8. How can we manage homelessness?
  9. Relationship between homelessness and mental health.
  10. What can the government do to manage homelessness?

Results of Homelessness in London

It was found that 90% of people living in the city are well informed and majority know what is meant by homelessness and a lot can understand what causes homelessness. From the interviews and questionnaires by victims, it was noted that homelessness was due to poverty and drug and substance abuse, other factors that caused homelessness is due to illness, gambling and neglect from family members. Homelessness affects the health of a person negatively and they are always sick in one way or the other. It was also noted that the rate and population of homeless people has increased in percentage from the past few years. Following the 2018-2019 statistics, it was noted that the life expectancy of people who are homeless is reduced compared to people who live in a home. The homeless population has its men living up to 45 years and its women up to 43 years compared to the normal people whose life expectancy reaches 76 for men and 81 for women. Homeless people are associated with suicide nine times more that people in homes, they are prone to humiliation and treated abnormally by the general population. Female homeless victims are also prone to sexual harassment such as rape. In the streets of London, there is more than 3 ½ time more homeless people than there was in the 2005 statistics (Smartt, 2019). In one random count in a random day, it was found that 1,136 people were homeless. In the period between the month of July and September 2019, a research was conducted and was noted that the city recorded a steady rate of twenty two people a day, doubling the previous year’s statistics. When trying to understand the cause of homelessness, it was found out that only 20% of the population has no alcohol, substance abuse or mental conditions but 42% are found to be alcoholics, 41% of the population used substances and drugs . In the statistics, it was also noted that 49% of the population was of United Kingdom origin and 31% are of eastern and central Europe. Male gender dominates in this sector registering 85% of the general population, 70% of the population are Caucasian while the rest are people of color.

Poor health status was associated with homelessness as homeless people are prone to diseases and infections due to the poor conditions they are in; respiratory problems were highly recorded followed by cardiovascular diseases and skin conditions. Mental health was also found to deteriorate as one affects the other.

Discussion on Homelessness in London

Homelessness can be categorized into three types, the primary homelessness, secondary homelessness and tertiary homelessness. Primary homelessness is where people live on the streets, secondary homelessness is where people live with his friends or in a temporally and emergency accommodation and lastly the tertiary homelessness is where people live in boarding houses (Aubry, 2016). Homelessness can also be defined as a state where a person could not acquire or maintain a regular, safe or even a secure house due to poverty and lack of income homeless ness has been slowly increasing from the past decade and has raised a lot of concerns. In the year 2015, on a research on worldwide population on homelessness and it was found out that more than a hundred million people in the world were homelessness and one billion people live in squatters and refugees camp others in temporary shelters with insufficient housing equipment. Men are found to dominate the population of homeless people making up 50-80% of the whole population. There are some of serious disadvantages associated with homelessness and can range from both physical to emotional (Tsai, 2015). However, there are some organizations, government programs and other private organizations that help in managing the challenge by providing services that assist the homeless people. In most cities, homelessness was associated with mental a condition that is associated with challenges in managing homelessness.

Economic hardship and unemployment can cause homelessness where one can find it hard to pay for rent and will lead to forced vacation and one will be homeless. Neglect by family members can lead to homelessness in early stages. Children can become homeless via this method sand can be due to many factors such as divorce, bad childhood behavior, drug abuse and mental health. Mental health issues can lead to negligence the homelessness if the family has found it hard to manage the victim. Homelessness can also cause mental conditions that may rise as simple infections. Drug abuse can also lead to homelessness where a person can be so addicted to a point where he or she can sell properties to get money for drugs and lastly, will end up being homerless. Homelessness can also lead to drug use where victims use drugs to pass time.

Health is also affected by homelessness. To begin with, people suffer greatly on skin related health issues. Bites from insects that are as a result of poor sanitization or personal hygiene or due to lack of proper bedding are able to cause skin allergic reaction and also can cause permanent marks on the ski. Insects that are prone to the skin of the victim is also the female anopheles mosquito that is a vector or malaria and can spread the disease and has the ability to cause death within the homelessness community (Hopper, 1997). This is due top poverty where one cannot afford health care treatment. Homelessness can also lead to deficiency syndromes as they are not able to get a balanced meal. Homelessness can also accelerate the rate of spread of disease of conditions, in case of a diabetic victim, diabetic drugs can be difficult to obtain risking one life to the condition, if one is infected, and the infection will tend to spread faster. Cardiovascular conditions are also prone to develop as the victims spend most of their times siting and sleeping and are in the risk of developing deep venous thrombosis. Due to poor health standards that will reduce the immunity of the victims, and during the cold periods, they tend to develop respiratory related issues that can be related to the cardiovascular conditions.

Homelessness can also be managed. It can be managed by collaboration of every sector in the community, family members, the community specific, the private sector, the government and the non-governmental organization. The first management is first by stopping homelessness by cabbing everything that may lead to homelessness, illness that may lead to homelessness should be approached with a lot of integrity as it is suicidal hence very tricky (Sparks, 2017). Early introduction to rehabilitations when signs of drug abuse are seen in victims, this will prevent homelessness due to drug and substance abuse. Proper management of unstable conditions such as mental conditions and care as it will reduce the chances of being homelessness by neglect. Empowering the masses by passing more knowledge about the effects of homelessness and the importance of careering about the others in relation to homelessness. Building of homes and rehabilitation serviced by either the local government or by the non-organizations or private entities to offer accommodation to homelessness people to prevent farther complications or prevent the spread of a disease. 

Conclusion on Homelessness in London

Homelessness has been a challenge in developed countries and it is rising steadily due to many factors including unemployment, mental and physical illness, it can also be caused by negligence from family members. The government and either organization are however trying to mitigate and manage this situation using all means possible. Health related issues are commonly affected due to homelessness and death can result.

Recommendation on Homelessness in London

I would recommend that the government should shift its interest in this homelessness issues to control and mitigate it as they can reform and generate the government revenue. The government should provide settlements to the homeless people and give the aids that will help them. The government should offer subsidies to organizations and non-governmental organizations in matters concerning management of homelessness.

References for Homelessness in London

Aubry, T., Goering, P., Veldhuizen, S., Adair, C. E., Bourque, J., Distasio, J., ... & Tsemberis, S. (2016). A multiple-city RCT of housing first with assertive community treatment for homeless Canadians with serious mental illness. Psychiatric Services67(3), 275-281.

Hopper, K., Jost, J., Hay, T., Welber, S., & Haugland, G. (1997). Homelessness, severe mental illness, and the institutional circuit. Psychiatric services.

Moulin, A., Evans, E. J., Xing, G., & Melnikow, J. (2018). Substance use, homelessness, mental illness and medicaid coverage: a set-up for high emergency department utilization. Western Journal of Emergency Medicine19(6), 902.

Smartt, C., Prince, M., Frissa, S., Eaton, J., Fekadu, A., & Hanlon, C. (2019). Homelessness and severe mental illness in low-and middle-income countries: scoping review. BJPsych open5(4).

Sparks, T. (2017). Neutralizing homelessness, 2015: Tent cities and ten year plans. Urban Geography38(3), 348-356.

Tsai, J., & Rosenheck, R. A. (2015). Risk factors for homelessness among US veterans. Epidemiologic reviews37(1), 177-195.

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