Learning Objectives

In this chapter, you are invited to think about how hospitals, and hospital workers, can be considered an extended part of our nation’s homelessness response. While thinking critically about emergency medicine and longer-term hospital admissions, you are encouraged to reflect upon three key questions guiding this chapter’s learning objectives.


  1. We begin by setting the stage of hospital usage, by examining the question, ‚ÄúDo people experiencing homelessness use emergency medical services at a high rate?‚ÄĚ Within this section, we will explore not only the usage rates, but the reasons for them. The first section offers an opportunity to learn and think critically about hospitals as being a common site of interaction between people experiencing homelessness and our health care system.


  1. Following the discussion of emergency medical use, our attention shifts to longer-term admissions by asking, ‚ÄúWhat happens after patients who are experiencing homelessness are discharged from hospital?‚ÄĚ As you work through this section you are encouraged to reflect upon how hospital discharge could ideally be a key site of homelessness prevention work, in which patients are intentionally directed into permanent housing upon exiting the hospital.


  1. In the final section we pose for your consideration the question, ‚ÄúWould improved funding for affordable housing decrease the burden on hospitals?‚ÄĚ Across Canada, housing and health care are generally treated and funded as separate sectors. In this section, we encourage you to consider whether the current approach is the best approach. Here you are invited to reflect upon the idea that increasing funding for affordable housing could have benefits for hospitals and the health care sector as well.


As you move through this chapter it is beneficial to keep in mind that hospitals are a key site of contact between people experiencing homelessness and the health care system. It is vital that workers within these settings ‚Äď whether in the ER or related to longer-term admissions ‚Äď understand the importance of the roles they play. Read on to learn more about emergency medicine, hospitals, and how they can help patients experiencing homelessness.


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Understanding Homelessness in Canada Copyright © 2022 by Kristy Buccieri, James Davy, Cyndi Gilmer, and Nicole Whitmore is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

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