When we talk about health, we often take our homes for granted. If you were to walk out of a doctor’s office with a prescription for insulin or orders to lower your stress by getting more sleep, how would you do that without a home? Where would you refrigerate insulin while taking shelter under an overpass? How would you get a restful night’s sleep in a noisy and crowded shelter with 50+ other men/women? These are just two examples of how, without a home, health is an uphill battle. Because of this simple truth, Housing is a significant social determinant for health.
The Social Determinants of Health are conditions in the environments in which people are born, live, learn, work, play, worship, and age that affect a wide range of health, functioning, and quality-of-life outcomes and risks. The conditions in which we live explain in part why some Americans are healthier than others and why many Americans are not as healthy as they could be.
Sadly, roughly 500,000 people were homeless in the US last year. More than a quarter of them were children. According to HUD’s 2015 point in time count, 565,000 people were living on the streets in cars, in homeless shelters or in subsidized transitional housing during their one-night national survey. Nearly one-fourth were aged 18 or under. Many studies suggest that the real number is much higher.
This is why Aspire has such a strong focus on housing. By working to establish practices that positively influence social and economic conditions and those that support changes in individual behavior, we CAN improve the health of people in ways that can be sustained over time.
Aspire provides property management services and various housing assistance programs to the many counties we serve, which include Madison, Hamilton, Boone, Hendricks, Hancock, and Marion. Annually we work with hundreds of individuals that are living on the street. We access a variety of federal, state and local resources to help individuals gain housing. Once they are housed we continue to provide supportive services including working with our supportive employment team to address issues with unemployment or underemployment.
If you would like to learn more about our Housing services please check us out on the web http://www.aspireindiana.org/housing/ or follow us on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/AspireAffordableHousing/
Johnson, E. (2015). More than 500,000 people homeless in the United States: report. Retrieved from http://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-homelessness-idUSKCN0T908720151120
HealthyPeople.gov (2016). Healthy People 2020 Leading Health Indicators: Progress Update. Retrieved from https://www.healthypeople.gov/2020/leading-health-indicators/Healthy-People-2020-Leading-Health-Indicators%3A-Progress-Update
CDC.gov (2016). Social Determinants of Health: Know What Affects Health. Retrieved from http://www.cdc.gov/socialdeterminants/