LANSING, Mich. (WLNS) – As housing remains a concern for Lansing City Officials, council members heard from health leaders and displaced tenants from red-tagged rentals like Autumn Ridge apartments.

It’s all part of the city’s ad hoc committee on homelessness that was formed to get a better idea of the situation in the Capital City.

The committee has been hearing from advocates and city service employees since its creation, earlier this year. The Ingham County Health Department’s newest leader, Adenike Shoyinka, shared what her staff is seeing on the front lines and says homelessness and good health go hand in hand.

She said studies have shown a 17-year gap in life expectancy between a person that has a home and a person that is consistently homeless.

Dr. Shoyinka said struggles associated with being unhoused like trouble getting food, mental health access and education, pose a high risk for people who don’t have a home.

Moving ahead, she said she feels confident in the work her staff has done in clinics both in shelters and schools but says further work can be done with county and city leaders working together.

“We do not provide direct housing, right? But as we work with partners, everyone brings something to the table. Making sure we have the right people at the table is so critical. Government, non-profit organizations, every level and residents, people who are experiencing it and getting that feedback will direct our priorities and will direct us where to go,” said Shoyinka.

These committee meetings are part of ongoing research that will look into the homeless population in the area, the needs of the community and what actions Lansing city government can do. Their final report is due in September.