30 year gap

PEOPLE sleeping rough have a reduced life expectancy of up to 30 years according to new research by UWA and the Australian Alliance to End Homelessness.

And the figure of 56 rough sleepers dying in Perth last year is likely a “significant underestimate” as it only comprises deaths confirmed by GPs or hospitals that’ve been forwarded by UWA’s Home2Health research team. 

Lisa Wood is associate professor at UWA’s School of Population and Global Health and says “Australia needs to follow the UK’s lead by annually releasing a count of homeless deaths and setting targets to reduce this atrocious life expectancy gap”. 

“At the same time, we cannot lose sight of the people behind these grim statistics: each death is a life cut way too short. After all, no one sets out in life to become homeless.”

Dr Wood and researcher Shannen Vallesi have an article “Death Among People Experiencing Homelessness: Each One, a Life” in the August edition of the homelessness journal Parity.

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