FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, January 7, 2010
National Coalition for the Homeless
Contact: Neil J. Donovan
Seven Hundred Killed from Hypothermia Annually in United States
Washington, DC – The National Coalition for the Homeless has just released its report, Winter Homeless Services: Bringing Our Neighbors in from the Cold, to raise awareness of the dangers and often fatal consequences of hypothermia on people experiencing or at risk of homelessness. The full report is now available here.
Seven-hundred people experiencing or at-risk of homelessness are killed from hypothermia annually in the United States. Forty-four percent of the nation’s homeless are unsheltered. From the urban streets of our populated cities to the remote back-country of rural America, hypothermia - or subnormal temperature in the body - remains a leading, critical and preventable cause of injury and death among those experiencing or at-risk of homelessness.
NCH maintains that knowledge, networking and temporary seasonal shelter and outreach are three of the most important elements to an effective regional or local approach to the reduction and prevention of exposure and hypothermia.
This report is a snapshot of winter homeless services nationwide. NCH staff has gathered information for this report from forty states and the District of Columbia, representing urban, suburban and rural communities. NCH interviewed state and local coalitions, healthcare providers, and shelter operators in order to gain the best and broadest possible understanding of cold weather services available through these direct service providers and first responders. There is general consensus among public health officials, medical professionals and service providers that to reduce the incidence of hypothermia nationwide, local communities should implement effective and timely strategies to address the needs of vulnerable populations, including creating temporary homeless shelters and extending the hours of operation for existing shelters.
Please click here to read the full report.