“Housing is Healthcare: The Healing Power of Home”
By Jon Parker, Executive Director, AVOL Kentucky, November 2023
An undeniable truth, often unnoticed, is that “Housing IS Healthcare.” This simple concept emphasizes that a stable, safe, and affordable home is a fundamental human need and a powerful determinant of overall health. The journey of recovery and healing begins with the security of a place to call home.
Many individuals face the harsh reality of poverty and homelessness. For them, “Housing is Healthcare” is not just a slogan; it’s a lifeline out of despair. The Healing Power of Home, championed by organizations like AVOL Kentucky, can revolutionize healthcare.
It’s well-documented that living conditions profoundly affect health. Instability in housing leads to increased health issues, from infectious diseases to mental health struggles. AVOL Kentucky knows that providing stable housing is the first step in addressing these needs. AVOL’s programs have shown that stable homes are the foundation for success, connecting individuals to necessary care.
Stable housing is not just shelter; it’s a platform to address the root causes of health issues and offers stability, security, and a sense of belonging, essential for emotional and physical well-being.
Moreover, stable housing reduces stress and anxiety, improving physical and mental health. For those who have experienced homelessness, a home is a place to heal and rebuild.
The “Housing is Healthcare” concept offers a practical solution to the strain on healthcare systems. Hospitals are overcrowded with patients who could benefit from stable housing and support services. Investing in affordable housing can reduce healthcare costs and improve outcomes.
The “Healing Power of Home” involves a holistic approach, just like AVOL Kentucky’s work. It recognizes that health is tied to education, employment, and social integration. This approach provides housing, counseling, job training, and other support services.
We need more investment in affordable housing initiatives for humanitarian reasons and as an intelligent healthcare strategy. Shifting resources from crisis-driven care to housing-focused care can save lives and money.
Recognizing that “Housing is Healthcare” and understanding the “Healing Power of Home” is not just a moral obligation but of local, national, and global significance. AVOL Kentucky’s programs show that we can reshape healthcare and promote well-being for all.
We must urge policymakers, healthcare providers, and the community to recognize that housing is a fundamental human right, not a luxury. Investing in affordable housing and support services is an investment in a healthier, more just, and prosperous future.
It’s time to acknowledge that “Housing is Healthcare” and unlock the immense “Healing Power of Home.”