Health outcomes have been known to improve since the Housing First approach was implemented. But those that remain unhoused, due to lack of affordable housing coupled with underfunded housing programs, still need their healthcare needs addressed. Unhoused individuals often face many barriers to accessing healthcare including high health care costs, lack of insurance, and lack of access to transportation. Often these barriers result in higher utilization of emergency services. In the last program year alone, the Center documented 19 calls to 911 due to medical emergencies.
The Hospitality Center has been at the forefront in understanding the needs of our clients and developing meaningful collaborations with other organizations to meet these needs. We have seen a significant increase in our Health and Wellness Programs being utilized by our clients.
Under our Health and Wellness Programs, the Center provides various preventative health programs onsite like our Monthly Health Clinic, bi-monthly HIV/STI Testing Clinics, weekly Mobile Recovery Clinic, a nutritious breakfast every weekday, medication co-pays, year-round referrals to Lenscrafters for eyeglasses, flu shots, and COVID vaccines. Most of these programs are offered in collaboration with other organizations.
While we believe that stable housing is still a key determinant of health, we need to give urgent attention to the the immediate health needs of our clients. The Center is a place where a non-traditional route to basic healthcare becomes accessible to those that need it and are not able to access it through traditional means. Our goal is to improve health outcomes for our clients. We are accomplishing that by leveraging strategic partnerships to bring these critical healthcare services to the people.