Thank you for supporting An East Nashville Christmas. Proceeds benefit the National Health Care for the Homeless Council, a 28-year-old nonprofit organization headquartered in East Nashville.
WHY WE EXIST
Poor health causes homelessness.
People get sick and lose their jobs, their incomes, and ultimately their housing. Most personal bankruptcies are due to health care costs.
In a very tight housing market, people turn first to friends and families for shelter. Those with behavioral health problems (substance issues or mental illnesses) tend to be the first squeezed out to the streets and shelters, though families with children have become a fast-growing segment of the homeless population.
Homelessness causes poor health.
Exposure to the elements, infectious diseases in crowded shelters, physical assaults, poor nutrition, lack of showers and toilets, interrupted sleep, physical exhaustion, survival sex and the lure of alcohol and drugs add up to extraordinarily high rates of all diseases.
People experiencing homelessness die 30 years younger than the general population – at about age 50.
Health care is complicated for people experiencing homelessness.
Most homeless people are uninsured, many have multiple chronic health problems, transportation and communication problems are common, prior bad experiences with the system diminish trust, and daily needs to find food and shelter take priority over finding health care. Keeping dressings clean, getting bed rest during recuperation, and safely storing medications and needles are all common problems. Limitations of the safety net mean that access to care can be quite challenging.
HOW WE HELP
The National Health Care for the Homeless Council exists to break this cycle.
We are made up of clinics, health care professionals, and people who have experienced homelessness, The Downtown Clinic of United Neighborhood Health Services is our local Organizational Member. Altogether, we serve over one million homeless people each year, providing primary care, mental health, addictions and related services. The staff and members of the National HCH Council are the go-to experts in homeless health care, providing training and technical assistance, conducting research and developing best practices, and advocating for improvements in the health care system.
WE NEED YOUR SUPPORT
Your contributions, through purchasing An East Nashville Christmas merchandise and attending the December concert, help us help the homeless.
If you support our mission, you can join (for free) as an Individual Member to stay involved with our work. You can also subscribe to the Mobilizer, our action alert that focuses on public policy issues related to homelessness and health care reform. Lastly, our online Advo-Kit provides many resources to help you advocate for homeless people.
You can learn much more about our work here:
National Health Care for the Homeless Council