School of Social Work Director John Graham says that homeless people under the age of 65 have a mortality rate five to 10 times higher compared to the general population.
A team of UBC Okanagan researchers is looking at strategies that could help the homeless during a pandemic.
While this research project began a few years ago, Graham says his team quickly turned their attention to the impact of COVID-19. His team looked at peer-reviewed publications, dating back to 1984, that examined how homeless populations were impacted by other highly contagious or communicable illnesses such as tuberculous, H1NI and Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS).
“Those experiencing homelessness do not fare well in terms of general health and this risk rises during public health outbreaks,” says Graham. “Research findings have shown that homeless people under the age of 65 have a mortality rate five to 10 times higher compared to the general population.”
Before this research, Graham, who is principal investigator of the Kelowna Homelessness Research Initiative, says no one really knew how pandemics historically impacted services for the homeless sector.
Read the full story here: UBC Okanagan News