Vulnerable Population : The Homeless

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Vulnerable Population: The Homeless Having the privilege to work in one of the busiest emergency departments in Florida, I get to meet many different types of individuals, many of those being homeless. Homeless persons are high risk individuals requiring ED services due to their poor health status, high rates of morbidity, lack of health insurance, chronic use of alcohol and drug abuse, unintentional injuries and much more (Tang, Stein, Hsia, Maselli & Gonzales, 2010). According to the National Health Care for the Homeless Council (2015), a homeless person is defined as an individual without permanent housing who may or may not be living on the streets; but in a shelter, mission, facility, vehicle, or in an unstable situation. The major precipitating factor contributing to homelessness is the shortage of adequate low-income housing (Shi & Singh, 2015). Demographics: California, Florida, Arkansas, Nevada, Mississippi, and Oregon are the only six states in which more than half of the homeless population are living in unsheltered locations (Henry, Cortes & Morris, 2013). In Florida alone, (8 percent of 47,862 people are homeless), California (22 percent of 136,826 people), New York (13 percent of 77,430), Texas (5 percent of 29,615), and Massachusetts (3 percent of 19,039) (Henry et al., 2013). While the largest decreases in homelessness since 2012 were seen in Florida and Colorado, twenty-three other states experienced an increase in homelessness between 2007 and
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