Homelessness impacts every community in the nation. A full continuum of care – housing, employment training and placement, health care, substance abuse treatment, legal aid and follow-up case management – depends on many organizations working together to provide services and adequate funding. The availability of homeless veteran services, and continued community and government support for them, depends on vigilant advocacy and public education efforts on the local, state and federal levels. Most of the funding for homeless programs comes from federal “block grants” that are administered by the states. Local governments decide where that money is spent. Make homeless veterans a priority for state assemblies, mayors, county and city council members and commissioners. Testify at local planning and budget hearings. Strengthen your voice by soliciting the support of local care providers, the faith community, civic and veterans groups.
Healthcare for the Homeless/Public Housing Primary Care health center, combines a land-based and mobile clinic strategy designed to provide services to the most underserved people in the area, the homeless, doubled-up, and those receiving public housing. This blend of land and mobile services is used as a way to provide care for vulnerable people in the region who have not been able to adequately access other CHC, Inc. services. Calalus is designed to provide access to services which include medical, dental, and behavioral health in Metro Atlanta.
Infectious disease studies for the homeless population often focus on sexually transmitted infections (e.g. HIV/AIDs and hepatitis C) while neglecting many respiratory diseases such as pertussis, meningococcal disease, mumps, measles, tuberculosis and gastrointestinal diseases such as shigellosis and giardiasis. However, the limited literature suggests that risks of contracting these and other highly communicable diseases are high among people experiencing homelessness due to multiple behavioral, social, and environmental factors. These include: living in crowded conditions (i.e. shelters) or visiting locations for services that may also be crowded (e.g. drop-in centers and soup kitchens), having limited opportunities to maintain personal hygiene and proper nutrition, having limited access to clean water for general use and consumption, suffering from a variety of chronic and acute conditions that may weaken the immune system, having limited access to care, which can translate into missed opportunities for vaccinations, especially among youth, lacking of knowledge of disease outbreaks because of limited access to the internet and television, and lacking ability to socially distance themselves in the event of an outbreak
Outreach programs engage people “where they are” in their own environment such as greenbelts, parks, doorways and alleys, vehicles, tents, temporary shelters or under bridges. People living in these settings are often isolated and highly vulnerable due to physical and mental illness—issues that make it difficult for them to seek out services on their own