Although all Community Health Centers provide care to vulnerable people in their communities – including some experiencing homelessness – more than 200 organizations receive targeted funding from the Health Care for the Homeless (HCH) program to meet the needs of those living without stable housing. Collectively, Community Health Centers serve nearly 1.3 million individuals experiencing homelessness each year, a vast majority of whom seek care from HCH grantee organizations.
People who experience homelessness endure higher rates of chronic and acute disease, behavioral health conditions, and other needs that make them vulnerable to poor health, disability, and early death. HCH programs provide high-quality, comprehensive primary and behavioral health care, case management, and other supportive services to meet the needs of people who lack stable housing. Services focus on trauma-informed care practices that provide healing, choice, safety, and trust while empowering individuals as advocates in their own care.
The National Health Care for the Homeless Council works to improve the delivery of healthcare services to people experiencing homelessness by providing comprehensive technical assistance and advocacy support to HCH grantees. National Health Center Week is a time to honor and celebrate the work being done at HCH organizations and to advocate for policies that end homelessness by providing comprehensive housing as a basic human right.
Consider these resources and ideas in recognition of Health Care for those Experiencing Homelessness Day:
- Host a donation drive to collect personal hygiene supplies, socks, underwear, and other items for organizations that serve people experiencing homelessness.
- Set up a time for outreach and navigation staff to visit a local shelter and provide assistance with benefits enrollment.
- Check out these free resources for children and families dealing with homelessness from our partners at Sesame Street in Communities.