Health Without Housing: An Ever-Increasing Necessity In America And Elsewhere

blister packages of three medications - some are empty
Medicine photo by Gaurav Dhwaj Khadka is licensed under CC BY-SA 4.0 Deed
Medical outreach teams help people who are unhoused to obtain medicine for chronic conditions.

Some, many, American citizens are sorry they cannot give their fellow citizens a precious gift of housing. The U.S. Constitution, alas, did not sanction such an honour for all its citizens. So, what to do? How to effectively care for some 653,000 unhoused economic victims (the 2023 nationwide estimate) who live on sidewalks, in alleyways and public spaces?

The impact is particularly stressful to the growing number of postwar baby-boomers with shrinking retirement incomes.

The U.S. government seems unable tackle the constitutional omission of a human right to adequate shelter beyond banning it: “Sorry, you are simply not allowed to be homeless.”

As for contributing to a solution, the problem seems unimaginably large for individual citizens who feel a need to share this national burden through some form — acts of reconciliation that might be felt as meaningful apologies for not being able to do more.

And yet there are are citizens who find ways to ease the problem of homelessness and, if not eliminate it, then at least manage to make a useful, positive impact.

Here’s an act of reconciliation from California. Adequate shelter may not be available, but human health at least can be protected.

Read more in The Eastsider: Street medicine teams treat the unhoused in Boyle Heights, Eagle Rock and elsewhere