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28th March
2011
written by Lisa Stand

Today’s post comes from Alliance policy analyst, Lisa Stand.

A new report from the National Association of Community Health Centers discusses the crucial role community-based health providers play in efforts to end homelessness and relieve its effects on health and quality of life.

Community agencies that work with people experiencing homelessness are probably most familiar with the specialized Health Care for the Homeless (HCH) clinics, which last year served more than 800,000 people experiencing homelessness nationwide, through 208 separate projects. In addition, permanent supportive housing (PSH) programs are often connected in one way or another to a community health clinic, assuring a source of primary care for PSH residents and adding to housing stability.

While community health is financed in a variety of ways, federal funding is paramount, through Medicaid and grants to Federally-Qualified Health Centers (FQHCs), to name a few federal sources. According to the NACHC report, “health centers operate in more than 8,000 locations and serve 23 million patients.” Access to community health care services helps make the business case for PSH, and health centers anchor local safety nets to help prevent homelessness.

The report, “Community Health Centers: The Local Prescription for Better Quality and Lower Costs,” was released last week, as a couple thousand advocates for community health centers gathered in Washington to help Congress understand their vital role in communities across the country.

Are you interested in learning more about how health care reform can help end homelessness? Email us and check out our resources online.

1 Comment

  1. Josh
    02/04/2011

    Getting more funding for these organizations would be a great help to the cause of ending homelessness, taking the burden off of community run organizations to do as much work as they can, not limited by funding.