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Recent Publications

The National Health Care for the Homeless Council’s publications answer frequently asked questions about homelessness, medical respite care, policy, and research. Use our fact sheets with new staff and volunteers, during governing board orientations, meetings with your legislators, as part of your agency’s press kits, or with your community partners and collaborators.

Publications older than 5 years are located in the Research Archives.

A Review of the Council’s 2020-2021 Research and Resources

The staff members of the National Health Care for the Homeless Council have been committed for decades to creating and developing resources to address the intersecting issues of homelessness and health care. In 2020, the coronavirus pandemic brought challenges unlike any ever faced. People experiencing homelessness have been particularly vulnerable during the COVID-19 pandemic, and the Council moved quickly to create resources and collect guidance to help meet their needs.


Health Care for the Homeless Health Centers during the COVID-19 Pandemic | July 2021

Since April 2020, the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) and health centers have been reporting their testing, positivity and antibody rates along with other key factors such as telehealth usage, staff positivity rates, health centers that have closed, and other areas. More recently, as of January 8, 2021, health centers began reporting vaccinations. This fact sheet is to demonstrate the resiliency of health centers and to highlight access to care based on demographical populations in relation to COVID-19.


Community Health Worker/Peer Workforce Recruiting and Hiring for Social Determinants of Health Screening | June 2021

This is a best practices guide for health centers considering or evaluating a community health worker or peer workforce program in their health center to assist with SDOH screening. This publication focuses on how to integrate this workforce into clinic workflow and care teams. Both providers and community health workers were interviewed to share their experiences and facilitators in hiring, training, and integration into the health center environment. We also explored how this workforce’s role has evolved during the COVID-19 pandemic. This publication was in collaboration with CSH and MHP Salud.


Oral Health and Behavioral Health in Patients Experiencing Homelessness | June 2021

This publication brings awareness to the intersection of oral and behavioral health among patients experiencing homelessness. We explore the prevelance and relationship between oral and behavioral health and the impacts they have on each other. The publication provides considerations for how mental health and oral health providers can work together to provide integrated whole person care. This was a collaborative publication with are partners at the National Network for Oral Health Access (NNOHA).


Community Information Exchange: Using Data to Coordinate Care for People Experiencing Homelessness | April 2020

As health centers continue to build innovative models to serve people experiencing homelessness, partnerships to address the social determinants of health become more crucial. A major challenge organizations face in building and sustaining these partnerships is communication and sharing relevant information to ensure coordinated care. This publication highlights what CIEs are, how they can be used, and how this could be beneficial during health care crises like COVID-19.


Intersections on Homelessness and Human Trafficking: A Case Study on End Slavery Tennessee | December 2019

There is a lack of knowledge regarding how pervasive trafficking is in the United States and what it looks like across the country. The clear intersection of people experiencing homelessness and trafficking makes this a logical area for Health Care for the Homeless providers to engage. This case study, highlighting the work of End Slavery Tennessee provides an example of quality services for individuals with the experience of both homelessness and human trafficking, and shares signs providers can use to identify a history of trafficking and additional health considerations.


Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP) for HIV Prevention: Considerations for Individuals Experiencing Homelessness | September 2019

Despite major advancements in HIV testing, treatment, and prevention, HIV diagnoses in the United States have remained stable since 2013. This  fact sheet explores the intersection of HIV and homelessness, focusing on subpopulations with disproportionate rates of infection. It also provides promising practices in prevention and treatment, including recommendations around the initiation of PrEP in the Health Care for the Homeless setting.


Oral Health and Diabetes in Patients Experiencing Homelessness | May 2019

This publication with the National Network for Oral Health Access examines the connections between periodontal disease, diabetes, and homelessness. The limited access to health care experienced by people without homes creates poor health outcomes and a lack of preventive care for chronic conditions, including diabetes and periodontal disease. Learn the answers to frequently asked questions related to this care for individuals experiencing homelessness in the fact sheet and watch our archived webinar, “Oral Health and Diabetes for Patients Experiencing Homelessness.”


Homelessness & Adverse Childhood Experiences: The Health and Behavioral Health Consequences of Childhood Trauma | February 2019

Childhood trauma has lasting impacts on health outcomes and development. This fact sheet explores the impact of Adverse Childhood Experiences and provides screening and treatment options. This resource was developed in partnership with the National Network to End Family Homelessness, an initiative of The Bassuk Center on Homelessness and Vulnerable Children and Youth.


Homelessness & Health: What’s the Connection? | February 2019

Homelessness can take many forms, with people living on the streets, in encampments or shelters, in transitional housing programs, or doubled up with family and friends. While the federal government reports 1.5 million people a year experience homelessness, other estimates find up to twice this number of people are actually without housing in any given year. The connection between housing and homelessness is generally intuitive, but the strong link between health and homelessness is often overlooked. This fact sheet outlines how health and homelessness are intertwined—and why housing is health care.


2016 Uniform Data System Summary: Profile of HCH Grantees | October 2018

The Uniform Data System (UDS) is a central repository for standardized health data from health centers funded under Section 330 of the Public Health Service Act. Our new report summarizes how the National HCH Council has utilized 2016 UDS data to provide technical assistance (TA) to 330(h) grantees and lookalikes to establish benchmarks, identify needs and prioritize new programs, demonstrate the value and impact of grantees and the overall HCH program, and facilitate the delivery of targeted training and TA.


Suicide and Homelessness: Data Trends in Suicide and Mental Health Among Homeless Populations | May 2018

Given the conditions that we know increase the likelihood of suicide in the general population, compounding factors faced when experiencing homelessness place those without homes at much higher risk. This fact sheet details common risk factors for suicidal behaviors, mental health and clinical utilization trends of HCH grantees reported in the 2016 Uniform Data System dataset, and circumstantial data reported in the National Violent Death Reporting System.


Demonstrating Value: Measuring the Impact of the Health Care for the Homeless Grantees | August 2017

Alaina Boyer, National Health Care for the Homeless Council 

Demonstrating the value of health centers is a necessary element of sustainability and measuring benefit. To help illustrate that value, this document provides an overview of the complex challenges facing homeless populations, the history of Health Care for the Homeless, and the critical impact of the work of HCH programs.


Addressing the Opioid Epidemic: How the Opioid Crisis Affects Homeless Populations | August 2017

Brett Poe and Alaina Boyer, National Health Care for the Homeless Council 

This fact sheet examines how the opioid crisis affects people without homes. America is facing an opioid crisis, and that epidemic has significantly impacted people without homes. Homeless populations have higher rates of substance use disorders, poorer health, and higher mortality rates by opioid overdose than national averages. Our publication examines the social determinants of health that contribute to that increased prevalence and morbidity. It also details the systemic barriers that hinder access to care and success in recovery for people without homes, as well as best practices to address those barriers. Read the fact sheet.


Prevention & Response to Infectious Diseases Within the Homeless Population | May 2016

Prevention and response procedures to infectious disease outbreaks often do not address the unique circumstances of persons experiencing homelessness. This fact sheet highlights infectious diseases within this population, addresses challenges in in the event of an outbreak, and provides strategies and tools that can be used to prevent and respond to emerging and re-emerging infectious diseases.


Using the Social Ecological Model to examine how homelessness is defined and managed in rural East Tennessee | April 2016

Claudia Davidson, Velma M Murry, Molly Meinbresse, Darlene M Jenkins, and Robert Mindrup

Often conceptualized as an urban issue, homelessness in rural communities is pervasive due to high rates of poverty, lack of affordable housing, inadequate housing quality, unemployment/underemployment, and geographic isolation. In 2014, the National HCH Council in collaboration with Vanderbilt University and Cherokee Health Systems conducted a study in rural East Tennessee. The purpose of this study was to provide insight to how rural communities define and manage homelessness as well as engage unstably housed individuals on homeless services by investigating the perceptions of different levels of influence of the Social Ecological Model including the individual, organization, and government levels. This publication gives an overview of rural homelessness, methodology, results, and discussion of findings. Read the full publication.


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