A recent report on homelessness in Denmark demonstrates that those experiencing homelessness face many of the same challenges in other countries as they do in Canada. I have mentioned before the people experiencing homelessness have some of the highest morbidity rates and lowest age of mortality in the developed world. In the Danish study (length of time not given), 17% of the homeless men died, making life expectancy 22 years shorter than the national average. Similar to my stats of 2/3 mental illness and 1/3 addictions in Canada, in the Danish study 62% of men had a mental illness and a higher rate of 49% of men were experiencing an addiction.
Creating system-level change requires political will. Political will follows public will. Hopefully numbers such as these will help provide motivation for the general public in London and Canada to say that homelessness is no longer acceptable in our society, and we will work to provide safe and supportive housing for all.