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Data collected by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) reported that an estimate of 580,000 Americans became homeless. This number was recorded in 2020, at the height of the pandemic, thus increasing the number of homeless people for the fourth consecutive year.

California has the highest number of homeless people 

The Department also revealed that California recorded the highest number of homeless people being 28% of the population. Several affected individuals reside in inadequate places such as the streets, forests, and parks. The population of people living in these areas accounts for at least 70% of the population, nine times more than homeless people in other states.

A previous study conducted by the University of California San Diego reported that homeless individuals greatly suffered during natural disasters such as heatwaves. During this period, hospitals record the highest number of homeless people who present the heat waves’ health impacts.

The study authors believed that heatwaves expose homeless individuals to a higher risk of heartrelated conditions whose outcome is organ damage or death.

Homeless people are most affected by harsh weather impacts because of their exposure to harsh weather elements and a history of preexisting health conditions. In addition, harsh weather collaborates with various factors such as drug use and mental illnesses.

How the researchers conducted the study

The report revealed that San Diego catered for many homeless people even though it was listed as the fifth state with an alarming number of individuals. In addition, the study authors reviewed recorded emergency room visits between 2012 and 2019.

The authors focused on a target group of 242,262 respondents and identified that homeless individuals estimated 24,688 visits.

The visits revealed that 94% of the individuals below 65 years, with 60% of the Respondents being white and 84% non-Hispanic. A few individuals who got to the hospital via personal transportation seemed to be affected by the heatwave during the day while during the night.

The report also revealed that homeless people visited the emergency room at least 1.29 times during the extreme heat waves from May to September.