Integrate Health Care
People experiencing homelessness often have serious and complex health challenges, including mental health problems and substance use disorders, chronic medical conditions like diabetes and hypertension, and infectious diseases like HIV/AIDS, Hepatitis C, and tuberculosis.
Ensuring access to quality health care must be a part of community’s response to homelessness. Health care can be most effective when it is integrated with housing assistance, as stable housing not only improves health in and of itself, but also serves as a platform for consistently delivering health care and services.
- Encouraging housing providers and health and behavioral health care providers to co-locate, coordinate, or integrate health, behavioral health, safety, and wellness services with housing, and creating better resources for providers to connect patients to housing resources.
- Testing new, and building upon successful, care and service delivery models to provide services in the homes of people who have experienced homelessness, including Assertive Community Treatment Teams and Home and Community Based Services for those with behavioral health needs.
- Applying lessons from evaluations of the Medicaid Health Home option to inform efforts to integrate health care and social services for people with chronic conditions experiencing homelessness.
- Seeking opportunities to increase the availability of medical respite programs in communities to allow hospitals to discharge people experiencing homelessness with complex health needs to medical respite programs that can help stabilize their medical conditions and assist them to access or return to safe and stable housing.
- Ensuring that people experiencing homelessness have access to expanded behavioral health services, including substance use disorder treatment services.
- Promoting the adoption and integration of evidence-based behavioral health services for children and youth, including intensive care coordination, peer services, intensive in-home services, mobile crisis and stabilization services, and other home and community-based services.
- Expanding access to evidence-based maternal, infant, and early childhood home visiting services for families and pregnant women, and promoting integration of these services with housing.
- Increasing awareness of strategies to support healthy child and youth development within housing programs.
- Leveraging opportunities in child welfare reform to expand evidence-based preventive services, and promoting their coordination with homelessness services and housing.