Among Phila.’s homeless, physical illness more common than mental

A new survey of homeless people in Philadelphia is the first step to finding homes for many.

Philadelphia Health commissioner Dr Donald Schwarz said volunteers spent the wee hours of this week trying to find and interview people living on the street.

“Five hundred twenty-eight men and women experiencing homelessness were surveyed,” said Schwarz.  “Two hundred sixty-eight of them, more than half, had a health condition, not a mental health condition, a physical health condition associated with high risk of death.”

Mayor Michael Nutter said this is a challenge the city can meet.

“We have the know-how we’ve actually gotten people off the streets, we have the resources we just have to work on ways that best delivers the service to the person who needs it,” said Nutter.

The goal is to take the survey information, find the 50 homeless people most in need, and find housing for them.

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