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Invited Commentary
September 2018

Death Among the Unsheltered Homeless: Hidden in Plain Sight

Author Affiliations
  • 1Department of Medicine, University of California, San Francisco
  • 2Editorial Fellow, JAMA Internal Medicine
  • 3New York City Health and Hospitals, New York, New York
  • 4Deputy Editor, JAMA Internal Medicine
JAMA Intern Med. 2018;178(9):1248-1249. doi:10.1001/jamainternmed.2018.2919

In early 2018, a United Nations special rapporteur on adequate housing made headlines during an unofficial visit to San Francisco and Oakland, California, by comparing the living conditions for those people residing on the streets of these cities with what she had observed in Mumbai, India, and by calling this state of affairs a violation of international human rights law.1 Indeed, it is hard to explain how, in one of the wealthiest regions of the world at a time of human history when the overall standard of living has never been higher, we have encampments of people living without toilets, sinks, showers, refrigerators, or cooking facilities.

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