News Headlines Article

Why housing is now a health issue for Kaiser Permanente
San Francisco Business Times

Over the eight years that Brian Hopkins has lived in his East Oakland apartment, he’s seen many of his neighbors wind up on the streets.

“You know tent city? That was a lot of the people who lived on this block,” said 35-year-old Hopkins, who currently works staffing events at venues like Levi’s Stadium and the Coliseum. “I know them personally, friends’ moms, aunties.”

Kaiser Permanente noticed the bulging homeless population in its hometown, too. It also knows the toll it takes on people’s health, with a recent study in a major medical journal finding that the average life expectancy of people without housing falls by 27 years. At last count two years ago, Oakland’s homeless population hit 2,761 people, up 25 percent from 2015.