Homelessness Essay Example


Health Promotion in Minority Populations

Homelessness Essay: Introduction

Homelessness is one of the most shameful issues that humanity created and now decline to wipe out. In a world of over-production, misuse of natural resources, and misdistribution, it is an actual shame not to solve these problems and leaving millions of people to their fate, which is determined by the wasteful people. Homeless people get their share of iniquity in healthcare just as they do in every aspect of the new world order. This is not an issue of being native of a place, town, state, or country. This is an issue of being disregarded. While the ridiculously wealthy minorities in the world live in joy and benefit from the latest developments in science and medical, poor and homeless are forced to lose their present health, if they have it. Unfortunately, this is just the same in the USA and even worse compared to many other countries. Healthcare is a fundamental human right, and everyone should be able to benefit from it equally. While the solution to homelessness is a whole another topic that needs to be addressed, in this paper, the health promotion part of the issue will be discussed.

Homeless as Minority

The total population of homeless people in the US is approaching 600 thousand. This is around 0,17% of the total population of the country, or around the population of Wyoming. The definition of minority was clearly stated by Wagley & Harris (1958) in five aspects as follows; unequal treatment and less power over their lives where this is the most accurate definition for the homeless as a minority, distinguishing physical or cultural traits like skin color or language where this is not quite applicable but could be considered as low level of literacy out of choice, involuntary membership in the group which is a fact for the homeless, awareness of subordination a plain fact, and high rate of in-group marriage which is again not applicable (Landrine & Klonoff, 2004). Therefore, meeting the four of the five aspects to be identified as a minority, homeless are clearly a minority in our society.

Health Conditions of the Homeless

Considering the current health status and the promotional needs of the homeless, the leading health problems that they suffer are listed on the Grand Canyon University Media website as mental health issues, substance abuse, HIV/AIDS, hepatitis, and range of other medical diseases (Organista, 2010; Perlov et al., 2006). While these diseases arise due to the state of being homeless, according to the National Health Care for the Homeless Council, homelessness also occurs for people with health issues who must choose between being able to pay for the care they need to treat an illness or paying for rent (2011). Considering people who become homeless due to reasons that are not health-related, preventive measures could be taken in order to help people not to end up in this situation (Falkner, 2018). On the other hand, people who become homeless to be able to get treatment for their medical diseases are also not less in number and should be taken into consideration.

Homeless people are exposed to a wide range of threads of medical diseases due to not having proper housing conditions, a chance to practice proper personal hygiene, and economic conditions to seek treatment. Besides, a low level of literacy is another cause of the presence of diseases such as HIV/AIDS and hepatitis at high levels.

Obvious problems in the health care system in the USA are known to the most. Direct-fee and private health insurance are basically inhumane, and the main reason for people with low income to become homeless. Therefore, the solution to this part of the problem is apparent. The answer is to revolutionize the health care system.

Race and Ethnicity Breakdown

Homeless people are from all ethnicities and races. Therefore, it is not a distinctive feature in this analysis. The only point to take into consideration is that the homeless are the natives of the USA, people who were born in America. Other than this fact, the racial and ethnicity ratio changes by state. As stated at the beginning of the paper, the homeless makeup around 0,17% of the total population, which is around six hundred thousand in number. Breaking the minority down in itself, according to the National Alliance to End Homelessness website, White Americans make up approximately 49% of the total homeless population, African Americans are more than 40% of the homeless, and the rest are listed as Hispanic 6%, American Indian/Alaska Native 3%, Asian 1%, and people who identify themselves as more than one racial/ethnicity background 1% (2017).

Health Disparities and Nutritional Challenges for Minority Group

According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC) (2015a), health disparities are the “preventable differences in the burden of disease, injury, violence, or opportunities to achieve optimal health that are experienced by disadvantaged populations.” Again, in terms of disparities, differentiation based on race or ethnicity is not very meaningful. The real reason homeless people face the difficulties that they are experiencing is the corrupt economic and health care systems. The main guideline that includes steps to provide the homeless with adequate health care is as follows; promoting development, fostering health security and equality, strengthening the health care system and base it on equality, researching disparities, health risks, and effective solutions, enhancing partnerships, improving performance. Long story short, helping people who experience disparities is not the solution. The real answer is to exclude disparities and homelessness.

Terminate Barrier Instead of Creating Them

“Barriers” for the homeless to reach proper living conditions, humane housing, and complete health care are created by the ongoing system. In an economic model that is based on money could never be the solution to end the poorness and homelessness. It is not possible to provide everyone with equal rights and healthcare while rich people are getting richer, and the number of homeless increasing as a result. The center of life should be human life and not profit. Considering health care in terms of possible profit and commercialization of it is the real problem. People who cannot pay for college, therefore, cannot have a “career”, cannot be expected to pay for high rent and absurdly expensive health care expenses.

Health Practices

There are no specific health practices for the homeless. Living your life day by day is enough of a practice when one has to face hunger, cold, discrimination, and police brutality. Basic health practices, awareness, and fundraising campaigns are present across the nation for minorities across the country, but the number and the level of the attention paid to homeless are quite low, and the point of view to homeless in America is adamant. As a result, the level of health practices and help for the homeless is very low compared to both the national level and other minorities.

Three Levels of Health Promotion Prevention

Wiping the concept of homelessness out instantly is a wonderful yet impossible dream. Therefore, a basic three-step-program could be applied to end this problem. The first level of the solution is opening many more shelters and make the present ones better in order to provide the homeless with housing and free health care. Applying educational programs to higher the literacy level and make the homeless have a profession to work and maintain their lives, which would, at the same time, help the US economy to get relief in economic crisis. The second level is revolutionizing the health care system and canceling private health care gradually but totally. The third and the last step is to provide everyone with adequate and equal health care and teaching the next generations that health is not something to be bought, but it is a fundamental human right.

Cultural Competence

In the last part, cultural competence is under consideration. Once again, it is not possible to classify the cultural diversity of the homeless since it is not made up of a single racial or ethnic group. The most significant common ground that could be considered is that these people are the US natives. The general cultural assessment for the American nation is valid for the homeless. Every single human has the right to receive health care for free in a way that is suitable to their belief and culture. This is a basic practice, and the best way to guarantee this is to provide health workers with special education programs to end the discrimination.

Homelessness Essay: Conclusion

In conclusion, the assignment has investigated the health promotion in minority populations. The paper also presented homelessness as minority, health disparities and nutritional challenges, levels of health promotion, cultural competence, health practices, and terminating barriers to the issue. Eventually, one can highlight that healthcare is a fundamental human right, and everyone should be able to benefit from it equally.


CDC. (2013, November 26). CDC Health Disparities & Inequalities Report (CHDIR) - Minority Health - CDC.

Falkner, A. (2018). Health Promotion: Health and Wellness Across the Continuum.

Landrine, H., & Klonoff, E. A. (2004). Culture Change and Ethnic-Minority Health Behavior: An Operant Theory of Acculturation. Journal of Behavioral Medicine, 27(6), 527–555.

National Alliance to End Homelessness (2019, January 9). Racial Disparities in Homelessness in the United States.

Organista, P. B., Marín Gerardo, & Chun, K. M. (2010). The psychology of ethnic groups in the United States. Sage.

Perloff, R. M., Bonder, B., Ray, G. B., Ray, E. B., & Siminoff, L. A. (2006). Doctor-Patient Communication, Cultural Competence, and Minority Health. American Behavioral Scientist, 49(6), 835–852.

Wagley, C., & Harris, M. (1970). Minorities in the new world: six case studies. Columbia University Press.

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