Health and Housing Go Hand in Hand
While poor mental and physical health can lead to homelessness, once a person is without a safe place to call home, health issues intensify, and new health problems surface.
Up against the elements, health issues are made worse by highly stressful restless nights living on the streets, and poor nutrition brought on by a lack of access to food.
Fewer 911 Calls Since the Launch of the Health Hub
People Supported by the Hospital In-Reach Worker in 2022
People Leave Blue Door Healthier Than When They Arrived
Visits with the On-site Part-time Nurse and Doctor in 2022
Our Health Supports
By improving people’s mental and physical health, Blue Door’s health supports ensure people are able to successfully retain employment and housing, ultimately escaping homelessness.
Blue Door’s Health Hub offers on-site access to health services for individuals, and families supported by Blue Door. Led by a Registered Practical Nurse, and family physician, the Health Hub offers a variety of services, and supports including health referrals, basic care, requisition filling, mental health, and addiction support, dental hygiene, and medication support.
Hospital In-Reach Worker
Through an innovative partnership with Southlake Regional Health Centre, Blue Door’s hospital In-Reach Worker works directly in the hospital to support patients experiencing homelessness in finding a safe place to recover, and live upon being discharged from the hospital.
Learn More About Our Health Supports
Poor mental and physical health can lead to homelessness; however, homelessness rapidly worsens people’s health.
Faced with stigma, shame, the overwhelming stress of trying to survive from one day to the next, and unbearable loneliness, 64% of people experiencing homelessness report having a mental health issue.
Living on the streets, up against the elements, and with limited or no funds to purchase food, 30% of people experiencing homelessness report having a chronic health condition.
The average life expectancy of a person experiencing homelessness is roughly half that of the national average. According to Charity Intelligence Canada’s Homeless in Canada report, the average life expectancy for a person experiencing chronic homelessness is 39.
People experiencing homelessness face barriers to accessing traditional healthcare services including:
- Losing or having health cards and IDs stolen while sleeping rough
- Not having the funds to travel to hospitals, walk-in clinics, or a family doctor
- Not having a family doctor, often as a result of moving across cities, regions, and provinces
- People experiencing homelessness face stigma and discrimination including in healthcare settings, which fosters distrust in the healthcare system
- Lacking a support system and guidance on how to navigate the healthcare system
The importance of access to healthcare was spotlighted during the pandemic when Blue Door operated one of the only COVID-19 isolation sites for people experiencing homelessness in York Region. At the isolation site, families and individuals were able to quarantine on-site while receiving healthcare provided by nurses.
Blue Door quickly realized that when vulnerable people experiencing homelessness have access to emergency housing and are triaged by healthcare professionals who ensure their medical needs are taken care of, their journey into permanent housing is not only faster, but much more successful.
Thank You To Our Generous Supporters