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Metrics details. Homelessness is a wide-spread problem which can lead to high vulnerability and social exclusion. There are many reasons why a person may become homeless, with relationship breakdown being reported as a common cause. Homeless people often encounter a of other problems such as mental and physical health issues and problems with drugs and alcohol which might represent either a cause or an effect of homelessness.
Drawing on such experiences, the paper aims to draw attention to the issue of homelessness and the importance of a compassionate approach.
The paper concludes by summarizing the findings, and encouraging the importance of a compassionate approach towards addressing the needs of the homeless. With the correct support and understanding, individuals can learn to take control and re-build their lives. The issue of homelessness is wide-spread, at an international level, and worse so in times of economic crisis.
Yet this vulnerable group are more likely to be victims of crime, rather than perpetrators. Many homeless have experienced brutal childhoods, unstable families, or domestic violence. They are more than ten times as likely to be assaulted and 50 times more likely to be robbed than those who have a home. There does seem however, to be a relationship between homelessness, mental health problems, and drug or alcohol abuse, together with Homeless guy needs love overlap with social exclusion.
These are crucial issues which require understanding, support and guidance, in order for a person to re-build their life, and re-establish their important role as an individual human-being in society. The role and importance of compassionate care was particularly brought to the forefront in the UK, following the release of the Homeless guy needs love Report which was based on an inquiry into devastating events at Mid-Staffordshire Hospital in the UK [ 5 ].
This report gained international attention by demonstrating that for many patients the most basic elements of care were neglected. There is evidence to suggest that the components parts of compassion are also crucial in alleviating pain, prompting fast recovery, assisting in the management of chronic illness, and relieving anxiety. As such, a compassionate approach applies not only to the health care setting, but also to the needs of vulnerable groups such as the homeless who may have specific health and social needs.
Due to the nature of the virtues of compassion, it might be assumed that during acts of compassion, these virtues must be explicitly demonstrated. This is particularly essential when helping homeless people. For example, compassion may be explicit in attending to, and offering services in relation to basic needs, but more implicit in terms of encouraging independence and choices. The notion of tough love within the context of dealing with homeless individuals can have a strong emotional and behavioural effect.
This may be because at an individual level, people who are vulnerable need to feel safe and this is less likely to be the case in an environment which it too soft and where the rules may be simple, few, and vague. There is a need for homeless individuals to move away from a chaotic lifestyle, but assistance in helping them back into a world where rules apply such as payment of bills etc. An analogy to this might be if we were to imagine crossing a dangerous river by way of an unsafe bridge — we would want someone to help us to safely reach the other side, but we would need this person to be strong.
Thus by referring to the notion of tough love within this paper, and within the context of compassion for homeless people, we may be referring to a set of creative rules intended to enable happiness and independence of the vulnerable person in the longer term.
This may further include providing a sense of direction, showing the person the way and teaching them examples of being assertive but in a calm manner. In both cases both implicit and explicit provision of care the concept of compassion and taking action is highly relevant. There are many worthy causes, charities, and organizations dedicated to supporting homeless people.
We feel that it is important to share this experience, and to encourage others to publish work in this field. The charity has operated in Canterbury and East Kent for over 20 years and represents a community effort to raise awareness and help people to get off from the streets and to change their lives. The charity seeks to change attitudes regarding the issue of homelessness, and works closely with the community by engaging in school talks, talks to church groups, study placements, training events, and training different types of volunteers.
A of services and attention to basic needs are offered by the charity, including: food; laundry facilities; toilets and showers; storage; telephone and postal address usage; IT access; mental health services; structured activities etc. In addition, the charity offers advocacy and advice, including specialist advice to encourage independence.
Becoming homeless is likely to be one of the most stressful and frightening events that can happen to a person, and finding shelter or knowing who to approach to assist with this, might be difficult. In assisting with finding shelter for the homeless in and around Canterbury, the Rolling Shelter model is utilized which was first piloted in London in Rolling Shelters initially replaced Cold Weather Shelters and were open all year round for four monthly periods in different locations in inner London [ 10 ].
The concept of Rolling Shelters presents a good solution to the problem regarding provision of overnight accommodation. For this reason, the impact on the community is minimal, allowing the venues to still operate and offer the services that they would normally offer. Utilising the Rolling Shelter model, whereby each venue may offer accommodation for 24 hours once a week is also cost effective and minimizes the risk of mis-use.
An analysis of this provision is as follows:. There has long been an association between mental health problems and homelessness, and access to appropriate support services might be difficult. It is also reported that homeless people have considerably worse health related quality of life than the general population, with many problems in relation to anxiety and depression being reported [ 12 Homeless guy needs love.
Such problems might contribute to the cause of homelessness, or may be a result of it. Homeless people may have difficulties in accessing mental health care services, despite the strong body of evidence that there are ificantly higher rates of mental health problems in populations of homeless adults, and that unusually high rates of psychosis are a feature [ 13 ].
Equally, a systematic review and meta-regression analysis performed by Fazel et al. At Catching Lives, a breakdown of the mental health status of individuals using Canterbury Community Shelter revealed the following:. For a further breakdown, please see Table 1. It is reported that not having a stable home is extremely damaging and those living in the worst conditions, experience the greatest levels of ill health.
QNI further report ificantly higher rates of respiratory disorders, skin and dental problems, musculoskeletal problems and sexually transmitted diseases in homeless people, and many have multiple health problems. They also refer to findings of the prevalence of chronic chest and breathing problems being twice as bad as the general population. For a further breakdown, please see Table 2. As with the association of homelessness with mental health problems, there is also a strong relationship between drug and alcohol abuse and homelessness.
Yet again, it might be difficult to determine whether such abuse le to homelessness, or whether homelessness le to substance abuse. Addiction may be difficult to overcome for any individual, and possibly much harder for homeless persons. The National Coalition for the Homeless [ 15 ], draw attention to the fact that addictions should be viewed as illnesses and require a great Homeless guy needs love of treatment, counseling, and support to overcome.
They further report that although addiction disrupts relationships and causes people to lose their jobs, in many cases substance abuse is a result of homelessness rather than a cause. Thus, an effective social support network is required to help with overcoming the difficulties of recovering from an addiction. At Catching Lives, the prevalence of drug and alcohol abuse among those utilizing the Canterbury Community Shelter initiative was as follows:. For a further breakdown, please see Table 3.
Criminal behavior and return to criminal activities following release from prison are often commonly reported among homeless people. The combination of homelessness and mental health problems may both be contributing factors with regard to this problem. A systematic review performed by Roy et al. As outlined above, many homeless people encounter mental or physical health problems, and in many cases they may encounter both. In addition, drug and alcohol abuse is also common.
However, access to the appropriate health services for these people can be difficult. To overcome such problems, RCGP draw attention to the following possibilities: Outreach services; In-reach work: Dedicated hospital pathways: Peer-education: Cultural awareness training: and Intermediate care. Often, it is the one place they know that they can go to in order to receive treatment. Catching Lives is fortunate enough to have obtained GP access for its clients.
In addition, it also employs mental health workers and provides mental health outreach services. However, in general the ease of access to Homeless guy needs love for homeless persons remains a crucial issue. Our aim within this paper was to draw attention to the issue of homelessness, by utilizing experiences and data from a local homeless charity in Canterbury UK. Sharing these experiences, we hope, will inform and encourage others to share their work in this area, and we hope that our readers will appreciate our concerns about this particular societal problem.
The problems identified in the extracts from the Catching Lives Report reflect the problems encountered by homeless people across the board, nationally and world-wide. Homelessness is associated with multiple problems for the individuals who experience this unfortunate life event. Finding shelter is crucial, and as reflected by the Catching Lives experience, the Rolling Shelter Model seems to be an effective method for temporary shelter leading onto positive housing outcomes.
However, there are many additional needs to consider such as mental health problems which seem to have a high association with homelessness. As identified by the literature, problems in relation to anxiety, depression, and psychosis are common [ 12 — 14 ]. Drug and alcohol abuse may be either a cause or an effect of homelessness, but as the National Coalition for the Homeless [ 15 ] remind us, addictions should be viewed as illnesses and require a great deal of treatment.
The issue Homeless guy needs love police involvement and re-offending, could benefit from proper rehabilitation services, to avoid a return to homelessness and offending. Catching Lives is fortunate in having secured GP access for its clients, together with mental health outreach services, but in general access to medical and social services remains problematic among the homeless.
Tending to the problems faced by homeless people requires an approach which is compassionate, and activated at a community level with the recognition of the problems, high vulnerability, and social exclusion that these people face. Homelessness is an issue where compassion plays a major role, whether this be explicit providing basic needs, developing trust, providing a much needed serviceor implicit encouraging independence and motivation, and offering choices.
Such an approach is based on underlying care, and a desire to help the individual succeed in life in the longer term. In a paper by Daly et al. At Catching Lives, clients suggested the following ways in which they could be supported:. Whilst a employee of Catching Lives, upon leaving to pursue a degree in Mental Health Nursing reflected on her experience working at the centre as follows:. I can honestly say that relative poverty gained a whole new meaning, not just in a material sense, but also in the degree of social and emotion capital that most of us are fortunate have.
I found joy, happiness and thankfulness in all the things I have. Holly, www. The above recommendations are relevant to all concerned in working with the homeless, and those with an interest in assisting homeless people. Homelessness is a wide-spread problem, and there are many reasons why a person might become homeless. Homeless people might encounter a of problems and a compassionate approach is crucial. Our aim within this paper was to draw on experiences from a local homeless charity, Catching Lives, in Canterbury, UK with the intention of raising awareness of the problems faced by homeless people both as identified by the charity, and in the light of recent literature.
The health and social profiles, and the problems identified by Catching Lives reflect the issues faced by homeless people on a large scale. Thus, we hope to encourage discussion on this topic, and to motivate others to write about experiences in this area. The role of compassion is an important factor, whether this be explicit or implicit.
Attention to important basic needs such as food, showers, laundry, use of telephone, use of postal address, access to healthcare services all represent an important explicit act of compassion. Certain issues of debate exist of course, in terms of whether the provision of food and other facilities should be provided to the homeless.
But how can we expect these individuals to move forward in life if their basic needs are not attended to first? Adopting such an approach may help us to better understand the needs of this vulnerable group, and to assist in removing the stigma that is sometimes attached to homelessness, and to ensure social inclusion. To this end, we hope to stimulate discussion on this important societal issue to perhaps help to find answers to important questions such as: how access to healthcare services can be improved; how situations such as individuals being discharged from hospitals and left outside a homeless centre can be avoided; identifying the best methods for encouraging independence, motivation, and confidence among homeless people.
Seager M. Homelessness is more than houselessness: a psychologically-minded approach to inclusion and rough sleeping. Mental Health and Social Inclusion. Article Google Scholar. The Lancet Editorial. An SOS from homeless people. The Lancet. Youngson R. Time to Care: How to love your patients and your job. New Zealand: Rebelheart Publishers; Google Scholar.
Oxon and New York: Routledge; Francis, R. Chochinov H. Dignity and the essence of medicine: the A, B, C, and D of dignity conserving care. Can 40 seconds of compassion Homeless guy needs love patient anxiety? Journal of Clinical Oncology. Time, Touch, and Compassion: Effects on autonomic nervouse system and well-being.Homeless guy needs love
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