Home Diabetes Care Helping People With Diabetes Experiencing Homelessness

Helping People With Diabetes Experiencing Homelessness

Helping People With Diabetes Experiencing Homelessness


Numerous persons are unhoused within the US, with a complete of 582,462 experiencing homelessness in 2022. With so many individuals with no place to live, it’s possible you recognize someone who’s unhoused while living with type 2 diabetes (T2D)

The explanation why someone living with T2D could also be experiencing homelessness can vary, but they still deserve the resources and care needed for his or her diabetes management. If you need to help individuals with diabetes experiencing homelessness, you’ll be able to start by sharing this collection of resources available.

Individuals with diabetes need assistance

Individuals with T2D who’re unhoused are in need of help for a lot of reasons. A 2019 report found that 59% of persons are only one missed paycheck away from losing their homes. With the high cost of diabetes management, individuals with diabetes must live with an additional financial burden.

On average, an individual living with diabetes has 2.6 times higher medical expenses than someone without diabetes. For a lot of, selecting between life-saving medication or their rent is a no brainer. Insulin rationing, or taking less insulin than what an individual medically needs on account of cost, has change into more common.

Nutrition plays an enormous role in diabetes management, making access to enough food crucial for those living with it. People living with diabetes which are experiencing homelessness may not have access to food or to refrigeration for his or her medications.

Without access to the web or a cell phone, someone who’s unhoused is probably not aware of obtainable resources—which is why it’s necessary that you simply share this information.

Food pantries

Food pantries are great places to show to for food. They might be positioned at schools, community centers or in vehicles as mobile pantries.

One organization you can recommend is Feeding America, which is a network of food banks, food pantries and food programs. It’s also possible to find Anti-Hunger Organizations in your area that may assist.

People who find themselves unhoused may also get emergency food assistance

Housing assistance programs

There are organizations that help people who find themselves experiencing homelessness find shelter. 

The National Alliance to End Homelessness explains what to do if someone is in need of a spot to remain. Many communities have 24/7 hotlines to assist people find shelter, health care, food and other social programs. 

Individuals with diabetes (PWD) have rights while staying in a shelter equivalent to:

  1. Being protected against discrimination due to their disease.
  2. Not being turned away from a shelter on account of their diabetes.
  3. Emergency shelters must provide accommodations to PWD. 
  4. Accommodations that shelters should provide to PWD include modification to policies like “no sharps,” “no pets,” or “no snacks and drinks.”
  5. Emergency shelters cannot deny entry to diabetes service animals.

Other programs that provide shelter, temporary or everlasting housing include The Emergency Solutions Grants Program (ESG), Continuum of Care (CoC) Homeless Assistance Program and The Salvation Army

Services that don’t require an address

It’s useful for people who find themselves unhoused to know which organizations don’t require an address in exchange for services. 

Catholic Charities agencies provide different housing services, from short-term shelters to everlasting housing. Local agencies may also give you the option to assist people who find themselves experiencing homelessness access nutritious food, health care services and more.

One other organization that doesn’t require an address is Lutheran Social Services. Each state has a chapter, and folks can receive housing assistance, mental health support, services for individuals with disabilities and more.

Benefit from health fairs

Health fairs are sometimes free and happen across the country. A fast Google search will display quite a lot of fairs happening in numerous areas.

If someone who’s experiencing homelessness does attend an event, especially whether it is diabetes-focused, they need to ask for samples of testing supplies or continuous glucose monitors (CGMs), as free trial programs require an address. 

Living with diabetes is difficult enough, and being unhoused makes it that rather more difficult. Not accessing basic necessities like food, shelter and drugs can result in a lifetime of complications for an individual with diabetes—and even death. Sharing these resources with PWD who’re experiencing homelessness could save their life!

Editor’s Note: Educational content about health equity and access is made possible with support from Abbott, makers of the Freestyle Libre 3 system, a founding partner of Beyond Type 2. Editorial control rests solely with Beyond Type 2.


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