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Average life expectancy of homeless people is 47

21st December 2011

A report for the charity Crisis has suggested that homeless people in England die 30 years younger than the national average.

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Life expectancy for a homeless person is now 47 years, compared to 77 for the general population, with drug and alcohol abuse accounting for a third of all deaths among homeless people.

However, being without a home makes the problem worse.

The Sheffield University report also took in people who live in night shelters and hostels as well as those living on the streets.

Those without a home are also nine times more likely to commit suicide and deaths as a result of traffic accidents are three times more common.

Crisis chief executive Leslie Morphy said that significant investment in the NHS had not helped homeless people to address their health issues.

A Department of Health spokesman said that knowing many homeless people have acute and often multiple health needs was a key factor behind the establishment of the Inclusion Health programme, which focuses on improving access to healthcare.

Housing Minister Grant Shapps said: “We’re fortunate to have some of the toughest laws in the world to prevent people from ending up on our streets, and while homelessness remains lower than in 28 of the last 30 years I’m always anxious to do more.

“That’s why I’m announcing £20m of new funding which, for the first time, will specifically help single homeless people, who all too often slip through the safety net. This money will be used to help prevent homelessness at an earlier stage.”

 

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