San Francisco’s Homeless Population 16 Times More Likely To ‘Die Suddenly’, Study Finds

(Photo by Josh Edelson / AFP) (Photo by JOSH EDELSON/AFP via Getty Images)

Kay Smythe News and Commentary Writer
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A study published Monday found San Francisco’s homeless population is 16 times more likely to die suddenly than their housed neighbors.

The eight-year cohort study published by JAMA found San Francisco’s homeless population was more likely to die from overdoses, gastrointestinal disorders and arrhythmic issues than their housed neighbors. With more than half a million people experiencing homelessness in the U.S., this poses a significant risk of sudden death to these populations.

The researchers studied a total population of 868 over almost a decade (151 unhoused, 717 housed) and found those unhoused people experiencing sudden death were typically younger, more often male and most likely to be non-White.

San Francisco has frequently claimed itself to be something of a utopia for America’s homeless populations. Policies throughout the city and state make it incredibly easy for homeless people to remain in their mental illness, which has led to not only increased death tolls amongst these populations, but a slew of other crises too. (RELATED: Thousands Of Dead Bodies Lie Under San Francisco)

In July 2023, a woman was found running naked across the Bay Bridge while wielding a firearm. Bay Area residents also report having to fight members of the homeless population to retrieve stolen belongings. For these reasons and so many more, it’s no wonder San Francisco is one of the “worst-run” cities in America.