The Health Care of Homeless Persons: A Manual of Communicable Diseases and Common Problems in Shelters and on the Streets.


O'Connell, J.


Nashville, TN: National Health Care for the Homeless Council, 2004. (Manual: 345 pages)


This manual discusses the health care issues affecting people who are homeless. The manual is divided into seven parts. The first contains discussions of twenty-eight communicable diseases and three infections seen frequently among homeless populations. The second discusses survival on the streets, and the conditions that arise from this exposure, such as hypothermia, frostbite and heat stroke. Part three attempts to respond to an array of future and present challenges in shelter and street medicine. Part four addresses the management of chronic illness in a population without housing or a safe place to heal and store medications. In part five, the authors detail the immunization schedules for children and adults, as well as some of the illnesses rendered rare by widespread vaccination programs such as polio, mumps, rubella and tetanus. Part six examines food management in shelters and soup kitchens, including suggestions for proper handling, storage and preparation of food in those settings. Part seven is comprised of fact sheets for shelter guests. Suggestions and recommendations are given throughout (authors).