15 years later, homeless people's health has gotten worse: new Toronto research updates the groundbreaking 1992 Street Health Report, with grim answers to the question: "What's it like to be homeless?"

    TORONTO, Sept. 17 /CNW/ -

    What:     Release of the Street Health Report 2007
    Date:     Wednesday, September 19th, 2007
    Time:     10:00 am
    Place:    Church of the Holy Trinity, 10 Trinity Square, Toronto, ON
              (behind the Eaton Centre, north of Old City Hall)

    The event will also feature an exhibit of the personal stories of several
study participants, documented by the National Film Board of Canada (NFB)
through photographs and interviews. Electronic copies of the NFB material will
be available to the media.
    Noted medical researcher Dr. Stephen Hwang, veteran street nurse Kathy
Hardill, Street Health executive director Laura Cowan, peer researcher Jim
Meeks and Street Health researcher Erika Khandor will detail the latest
    In 1992, Street Health's groundbreaking research on homeless people's
health and access to health care received worldwide attention. The 2007 study
confirms that the health of homeless people has gotten worse in the past 15
years. Street Health Report 2007 documents shocking rates of illness,
violence, rape and attempted suicide.
    The Street Health Report 2007 is based on a survey of 368 homeless adults
in downtown Toronto last winter; including findings on the causes of
homelessness and the daily living conditions of homeless people; along with
the physical and mental health of homeless people, their use of health care,
and their barriers to health care. The report sets out a practical and
effective action plan to improve the health of homeless people and end
    "We were staggered to learn that three-quarters of homeless people are
seriously ill, yet most don't have access to the health care they need and the
health care that the rest of us take for granted," stated Dr. Stephen Hwang,
study advisor and renowned homelessness and health researcher at the Centre
for Research on Inner City Health of St. Michael's Hospital.
    "Our study shows that homelessness is not a short-term crisis, but a
long-term disaster with serious health costs for homeless people and profound
social consequences for the entire community," commented Kathy Hardill, study
advisor, co-author of the original Street Health Report and nurse at Regent
Park Community Health Centre. "Health, housing and social funding and programs
have been cut over the past 15 years, so it's no wonder that conditions are
getting worse."
    "Our study makes it clear that we need immediate action to address
poverty and inequality, which are the underlying causes of homelessness,"
stated Laura Cowan, study researcher, nurse and executive director of Street
Health. "For the sake of the health of homeless people, and the health of our
city, we simply cannot afford to keep doing nothing about homelessness."
    The report will be available at the launch on September 19th and at
www.streethealth.ca after its public release.

For further information:

For further information: or to arrange interviews, please contact: Erika
Khandor, Research Coordinator, Street Health, (416) 921-8668 x237,
erika@streethealth.ca; Jennifer Humphries, Publicist, National Film Board of
Canada, (416) 952-8960, j.humphries@nfb.ca

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