HEALTHCARE FOR THE HOMELESS PROGRAM
At any given point in time, in Cincinnati/Hamilton County over 1600 individuals are without a home. Mental and physical illness is a constant in the life of the homeless community and impacts the work of all providers. Most homeless people have no health insurance or transportation, and they depend on routines of shelters, soup kitchens and temporary jobs to meet basic survival needs. When chronic health conditions are not monitored or if minor health problems go untreated, they become medical emergencies, increasing the use of the emergency departments as primary care centers. Homeless individuals experience a multitude of problems not the worst of which are serious medical problems often requiring multiple treatments. The homeless experience the same debilitating conditions that exist in the general population, but these conditions are exacerbated by homelessness, given that the lack of health care available to the homeless population continues to be a significant factor preventing self-sufficiency.
Through CHN, comprehensive program of primary medical and mental health services, oral health care, substance abuse addictions treatment, respite care, along with intensive collaborative care management, and other supportive social services, is provided annually to approximately 7,000 homeless individuals in our community. The Cincinnati Health Network, through the Health Care for the Homeless Program, has partnered with experienced organizations and community providers to address the gaps in service delivery and improve the overall health status of the population providing over 31,000 patient encounters annually.