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Article

The Ecology of Unsheltered Homelessness: Environmental and Social-Network Predictors of Well-Being among an Unsheltered Homeless Population

1
Department of Earth System Science, Stanford University, Stanford, CA 94305, USA
2
Department of Human and Organizational Development, Peabody College, Vanderbilt University, Nashville, TN 37203, USA
3
Department of Sociology, University of Washington, Seattle, WA 98195, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editors: Igor Grabovac and Lee Smith
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(14), 7328; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijerph18147328
Received: 2 June 2021 / Revised: 2 July 2021 / Accepted: 3 July 2021 / Published: 8 July 2021
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Health and Well-Being in Vulnerable Communities)
People experiencing homelessness (PEH) face extreme weather exposure and limited social support. However, few studies have empirically assessed biophysical and social drivers of health outcomes among unsheltered PEH. Social network, health, and outdoor exposure data were collected from a convenience sample of unsheltered PEH (n = 246) in Nashville, TN, from August 2018–June 2019. Using multivariate fixed-effects linear regression models, we examined associations between biophysical and social environments and self-reported general health and emotional well-being. We found that study participants reported the lowest general health scores during winter months—Nashville’s coldest season. We also found a positive association between the number of nights participants spent indoors during the previous week and general health. Participants who spent even one night indoors during the past week had 1.8-point higher general health scores than participants who spent zero nights indoors (p < 0.01). Additionally, participants who experienced a conflict with a social contact in the past 30 days had lower emotional well-being scores than participants who experienced no conflict. Finally, women had worse general health and emotional well-being than men. Ecologically framed research about health and well-being among PEH is critically needed, especially as climate change threatens to increase the danger of many homeless environments. View Full-Text
Keywords: homelessness; unsheltered homeless populations; environmental exposure; general health; emotional well-being; social networks; gender; climate change impacts homelessness; unsheltered homeless populations; environmental exposure; general health; emotional well-being; social networks; gender; climate change impacts
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MDPI and ACS Style

Anderson, M.-C.; Hazel, A.; Perkins, J.M.; Almquist, Z.W. The Ecology of Unsheltered Homelessness: Environmental and Social-Network Predictors of Well-Being among an Unsheltered Homeless Population. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18, 7328. https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijerph18147328

AMA Style

Anderson M-C, Hazel A, Perkins JM, Almquist ZW. The Ecology of Unsheltered Homelessness: Environmental and Social-Network Predictors of Well-Being among an Unsheltered Homeless Population. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health. 2021; 18(14):7328. https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijerph18147328

Chicago/Turabian Style

Anderson, Mary-Catherine, Ashley Hazel, Jessica M. Perkins, and Zack W. Almquist 2021. "The Ecology of Unsheltered Homelessness: Environmental and Social-Network Predictors of Well-Being among an Unsheltered Homeless Population" International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health 18, no. 14: 7328. https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijerph18147328

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