Homeless Health Care Program
The Harris Health System-Health Care for the Homeless Program is an outreach entity of the Harris Health System's Community Health Program. In existence for over 15 years, it is one of the largest homeless programs in the nation, providing health care to homeless individuals in 12 homeless shelters and day centers within Harris County. Recently the program was accredited by JCAHO, a mark of distinction shared by very few other homeless programs.
To maintain a leadership position in the provision of access to primary healthcare services to homeless individuals who do not otherwise have access because of financial, cultural or physical barriers.
The Health Care for the Homeless Program exists to improve the health status of the homeless population of the city of Houston and Harris County by:
- Encouraging and enabling access to new and existing health care, dental services, mental health and substance abuse facilities
- Enhancing communication and collaboration among agencies that serve homeless individuals
The healthcare team provides a continuum of care with multiple points of entry, which enhances the ability of homeless individuals to access care. The team also focuses on the voluntary nature of engaging these individuals into health promotion and prevention activities, and healthcare management at sites where they congregate for other services (food, clothing, shelters and social contacts). We provide on-site medical care, mental health counseling and eligibility assistance.
Services We Provide
- Medical care for minor episodic acute health need and management of chronic conditions at all shelter clinics
- Immunization for children and adults
- Health education
- Mental health counseling and treatment (We are part of Health Disparities Collaborative on Depression.)
- Substance abuse counseling and treatment
- Harris Health System eligibility registration (Gold Card)
- Transportation assistance to and from different health centers/providers
- Medical outreach services for children and adults through our Medical Mobile Outreach Van
- Dental care services done by our new Mobile Dental Unit
We bring comprehensive healthcare services to homeless and with the Homeless Health Council we are committed to minimizing barriers to health care for homeless individuals in our county and city.