Homelessness is a persistent and complex national problem.

In January 2016, over half a million Americans were homeless on any given night.
  • 549,928 Homeless
  • 22% are children
  • 9% are adolescents
  • 36% are sheltered adults, 29% unsheltered
  • 32% are sheltered families, 3% unsheltered
These numbers are driven by a lack of affordable housing in a boom and bust economy. Seattle has been particularly hard hit. The number of unsheltered persons rose to 5,485 in 2017 from 4,505 in 2016. Many now live in groups of 60 to 100 called Tent Cities.

MEDEX 580 is open again this Winter from Jan 4th to March 8th.

The course is open to any Health Sciences student or any UW staff, including UWMC and Harborview Medical Center. Students will have opportunities to engage with real-life social justice issues such as racism, mass incarceration, housing, socio-economics and its impacts. Advocates experiencing homelessness themselves, national experts and local providers will interact with students in a small group setting. Faculty from Dentistry, Social Work, Medicine, Nursing and Public Health will help students analyze how the health care system does and does not respond to multiple aspects of homelessness. We have continued our relationship with Tent City 3 and engaged with Tiny House Village Nicholsville as well.