Homelessness and Health Disparities


  • Courtney Simmons-Matthews Prairie View A&M University
  • Myra Michelle DeBose, PhD, MSN, MSEd, RN Prairie View A&M University, Houston, Texas




Homeless, Homelessness, Health disparities, Transcultural Nursing, Photo voice


A graduate level nursing course was enhanced by adding photo voice methodology to explore cultural dimensions of health care delivery in urban and rural settings. Photo voice enables the student to record community strengths and concerns. It promotes critical dialogue and knowledge about important issues through large and small group discussion of photographs and ultimately reach policymakers (Wang & Burris, 1997).

Three of twenty-seven exposures, represent the raw, uncut harsh realities of homelessness in the heart of downtown Houston, Texas. In a city, known for the largest medical center in the world, health disparities are seen on nearly every corner. Healthcare and accessibility to healthcare services for the homeless are scarce and not effectively utilized. Deplorable, unsanitary environments are breathing grounds for infection and communicable diseases. Substance abuse and mental health disorders negatively impact the lives of many. Within the homeless community, chronic diseases are usually not diagnosed or poorly managed possibly due to poor follow-up and/or healthcare accessibility. There is an abundance of healthcare services, but for whatever unforeseen circumstances, health promotion does not appear to be prevalent within the homeless community.


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Author Biographies

Courtney Simmons-Matthews, Prairie View A&M University

Courtney Simmons-Matthews is a graduate nursing student at Prairie View A&M University School of Nursing, in Houston, Texas. She is a Pediatric ICU Nurse of 10 years, and an aspiring Advanced Practice Registered Nurse, pursuing a Master of Science in Nursing Degree - Family Nurse Practitioner Track. Upon completion of her advanced practice degree, she plans to specialize in behavioral/mental health and substance abuse recovery.

Myra Michelle DeBose, PhD, MSN, MSEd, RN, Prairie View A&M University, Houston, Texas

Dr. DeBose is an Assistant Professor in the Collge of Nursing Graduate Studies Program and faculty advisor.

Simmons Matthews DeBose



How to Cite

Simmons-Matthews, C., & DeBose, M. M. (2018). Homelessness and Health Disparities. Journal of Student Research. https://doi.org/10.47611/jsr.vi.513