Can we prevent deaths of homeless persons? Police led public health approach to prevent homeless deaths

Natalie Kroovand Hipple, Sarah J.M. Shaefer, Robert F. Hipple, Alfarena T. Ballew

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Research on homeless populations demonstrates that homelessness in itself is an independent risk factor for death. However, there is a dearth of detailed data on homeless decedents and the situations surrounding their deaths. This lack of knowledge, a desire to understand how and why homeless individuals were dying, and a sentinel event death led the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department Homelessness and Panhandling Unit to partner with a local researcher and begin conducting homeless death reviews. The approach is modeled after the evidence-based, public health approach of the Fetal and Infant Mortality Review process (FIMR). The FIMR model is a systematic approach to understanding system gaps and obtaining insights into the factors that resulted in homelessness and ultimately death. This article reports on the process to develop this unique multi-agency, police-led review of homeless deaths in Indianapolis, Indiana and resulting recommendations for action to decrease these deaths.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)78-85
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Social Distress and the Homeless
Volume25
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 2 2016

Keywords

  • Cross-sector collaboration
  • Death reviews
  • FIMR
  • Homelessness
  • Mortality reviews

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)

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