Florida Keys Outreach Coalition manages Showers for the Homeless seven days per week. Practicing good hygiene is essential to helping to eliminate the onset of infections.
In fact, infections are the biggest enemy of the homeless.
Fungai and staph infections and skin problems such as scabies, pediculosis (head lice) are some of the main reasons homeless individuals seek treatment. Foot disorders are also common.
Treatment is available in Monroe County but it's essential to seek treatment at the first outbreak of infection. Something as simple as a scratch can turn into a serious infection without proper care
Access to public showers and hygiene supplies are critical to maintain good hygiene practices.
The FKOC operates showers behind the Police Station on North Roosevelt Blvd. where hygiene kits are also available. The showers are open every day. Hours are Sunday thru Friday 4:00 pm - 6:00 pm and Saturday 9:00 am - 11:00 am.
Hygiene kits supplied by FKOC are also available at the FKOC Outreach Office located at at 2221 Patterson Ave. and at St. Mary's Soup Kitchen. For more information please call 305-295-7580.
The louse transmitted bacteria Bartonella quintana has recently been found to cause clinical conditions in the homeless such as urban trench fever, bacillary angiomatosis, endocarditis, and chronic afebrile bacteraemia. Treatment of homeless people is complicated by financial constraints, self-neglect, and lack of adherence. Patients with serious and contagious illnesses should be hospitalised. Physicians should be aware of these specific issues to enhance care.
Unique Medical Needs of the Homeless
There are particular medical needs affecting the homeless, marked by a high prevalence of undiagnosed and treatable chronic conditions including staph infections and high blood pressure. Living out of doors puts the homeless at greater risk for common infections, like chest colds, that can become major or potentially life-threatening acute conditions. Additionally, the homeless have a higher incidence of infectious conditions like tuberculosis, which threaten the health of the general public.