This guidance has been designed to raise awareness of the importance of nutrition among front line workers working with the homeless population, and to help identify needs that can then be addressed.

Nurses working with homeless people confront the issue of nutritional need on a regular basis. However, nutrition can often be overlooked when there are other competing priorities, such as safeguarding issues.

Moreover when the issue of food is addressed by key workers, a ‘broad brush’ approach may be adopted (such as whether the individual is eating/or has access to food) rather than identifying the specific nutrient quality of a homeless person’s diet. While this may be a realistic focus for practitioners, it can ignore the nutrient quality of the diet and result in further malnourishment or risk of malnutrition for the individual concerned.

This guidance gives an overview of the subject of nutrition and the specific issues that affect people experiencing homelessness.

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