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Running head: The Homeless Vulnerable Populations: Focusing on the Homeless Introduction Homeless individuals live in extreme circumstances of poverty which results in their failure to dwell in a humane living environment as well as the inability to provide for their own needs.
Numerous health risks could be associated with the various causes of homelessness. For instance, minors who experience homelessness are at higher risks of illnesses due to their relatively weaker immune system as compared to adults. Moreover, homelessness due to natural disasters could cause a dramatic increase in lethal illnesses due to the unavailability of basic human necessities (Burt, Aron, Douglas, Valente, Lee, and Iwen, 1999). The following section shall elaborate on homelessness and its population, as well as explain the role of nurses in advocating and educating the homeless. The Homeless: Demographics Stewart B. McKinney defined a homeless individual as a person who “lacks a fixed, regular, and adequate night-time residence”. According to McKinney, a primary night time residency includes: a publicly or privately supervised dwelling which serves as a temporary living accommodation; an institution or charity that provides temporary shelter for individuals who need to be institutionalized; and a public or private place that is not intended to serve as a shelter for human beings. In addition, a person who is imprisoned under a state law is not a homeless individual (U.S. Department of Agriculture, Rural Economic and Community Development, 1996). ...
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