Week 5: Health Disparities

Week 5: Health Disparities
General Poverty

1. Play Spent Activity:

The Urban Ministries of Durham have a great online poverty simulation that goes through a month in the life of a person living in poverty. To access the simulation, click this link: http://playspent.org/ Summarize your experience with this simulation activity

Did you have money left over?

What difficult decisions did you need to make?

What was your overall feeling when the month was over?

2. After reading the Culture of Care Policy Brief

What does the Covid-19 pandemic teach us about health disparities in the U.S?

Identify policy recommendations that would address these inequalities.

Food Security

Go to the website, United States Food Drug Administration- Household Food

Security at


How is food insecurity defined?

Which populations are most at risk for food insecurity?

What programs are available to improve food access? Consider Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP)


1. Who are the homeless and why are they homeless?

Go to the website of the National Coalition for the Homeless:

Homelessness in America

Click on Issues – Read about 2 topics that interest you.

Click on Campaigns – read about one campaign.

Hoover over About NCH and then click on Policy Priorities – read about one policy recommendation.

2. Describe the face of the “homeless”.

What are the numbers?

Who is homeless?

Why are they homeless?

How are health and homelessness related?

Identify and describe one policy project to reduce/end homelessness.

Go to Policy Map in the MSU library database. What information can you find on housing and homelessness in your community? As a public health nurse, why is it important to know this information?

3. Describe what is meant by having “affordable housing”
Review the Mortgage Lending Report at the following link: https://ncrc.org/ncrc-2020-home-mortgage-report-examining-shifts-during-covid/?mc_cid=fdf4610bd7&mc_eid=cbd7cf5abd
Based on your review, how do current trends in mortgage lending impact affordable housing and homelessness?
What populations are most likely to have challenges with mortgage lending, and why?
What similarities do you see in populations most impacted by homelessness and mortgage lending?
What recommendation would you give to a potential home buyer who may be most impacted by current trends in mortgage lending?

As an AI language model, I don’t have personal experiences, but I can provide general information on the topics you asked about based on available sources.

Play Spent Activity:
The online poverty simulation called Spent by the Urban Ministries of Durham puts you in the shoes of a person living in poverty. Throughout the game, you have to make difficult choices about where to allocate your limited resources, such as choosing between paying bills, buying groceries, or taking care of a medical emergency. It is challenging to make ends meet, and many players often find themselves with little to no money left at the end of the month.

Culture of Care Policy Brief:
The Covid-19 pandemic has exposed and amplified existing health disparities in the US, with marginalized communities experiencing higher rates of infection, hospitalization, and death. The pandemic has highlighted the need for more equitable access to healthcare and essential resources, including testing, vaccines, personal protective equipment, and mental health services. Policy recommendations to address these inequalities include investing in public health infrastructure, expanding Medicaid coverage, implementing paid sick leave and childcare policies, and increasing funding for community-based organizations serving vulnerable populations.

Food Security:
Food insecurity is defined as limited or uncertain access to adequate food due to a lack of money or other resources. Low-income households, people of color, households with children, and households headed by single women are most at risk for food insecurity. Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) is a federal program that provides nutrition assistance to eligible low-income individuals and families.

Homelessness is a complex issue with multiple contributing factors, including poverty, lack of affordable housing, unemployment, mental illness, and addiction. The face of homelessness varies widely and includes individuals, families, youth, and veterans. Homelessness can have significant health impacts, including mental health problems, chronic medical conditions, and exposure to violence and trauma. Policy projects to reduce/end homelessness include increasing funding for affordable housing programs, expanding access to healthcare and mental health services, and implementing supportive housing programs that provide wrap-around services to help individuals maintain stable housing.

Policy Map:
The Policy Map in the MSU library database provides information on housing and homelessness in specific communities. As a public health nurse, it is essential to know this information to understand the health needs of the population and to develop targeted interventions to address the root causes of homelessness.

Affordable Housing:
Affordable housing refers to housing that is affordable to low- and moderate-income households. It is often defined as housing that costs no more than 30% of a household’s income. The Mortgage Lending Report by the National Community Reinvestment Coalition examines current trends in mortgage lending, including disparities in lending practices that disproportionately impact low-income households and communities of color. Populations most likely to have challenges with mortgage lending include low-income households, households with poor credit, and communities of color. The report highlights the need for fair lending practices and increased access to affordable housing for marginalized communities. A potential homebuyer most impacted by current trends in mortgage lending may benefit from working with a housing counselor to explore all available options and navigate the lending process effectively.

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