Homelessness Is a Healthcare Issue

  • November 1, 2018

    Statistics show that homeless people have higher rates of chronic health issues, and about 80 percent of the time, they visit the emergency room for conditions that could’ve been treated outside of the ER. However, when a homeless person is housed, healthcare costs are reduced by 59 percent and emergency room costs are reduced by 61 percent.

    According to the National Coalition for the Homeless, the average life expectancy of a homeless person is only 42 to 52 years old, but life expectancy increases to 78 years of age when a person is housed.

    A bold vision

    In July, Premera granted Covenant House Alaska $1 million to help them fulfill their vision of eradicating youth homelessness. Since opening in 1988, Covenant House Alaska has served thousands of homeless, at-risk, and trafficked youth in the state.

    They not only give kids stability by providing basic needs like a home, showers, clean clothes, medical attention, and food, they also provide job readiness training, facilitate counseling sessions, as well as music, art, and cooking lessons. Additionally, the staff shows by example how caring relationships are based on mutual trust and respect.

    Covenant House is working hard to make youth homelessness rare, brief and nonrecurring, and Premera is proud to support them in this endeavor.

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