Insights from the HCH Helpdesk

This blog is here to answer frequently asked questions by HCH health center staff and address recurring needs related to health services for people experiencing homelessness.

Person going through a checklist

Proving a Negative: Verifying Homelessness for HCH Eligibility

Primary audience: HCH health center staff This month we take up the notion of “proving” health center patients are indeed experiencing homelessness. (Find a less colloquial, in-depth version of this in our 2018 technical assistance notice.) With limited resources, HCH health centers must ensure that their federal funds are used exclusively for their intended purpose (while noting the …

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Illustration by Rose Wong "the dose" from the Commonwealth Fund

Gender-Affirming Care and HCH: Definitions, Resources, and Opportunities

Primary audience: health care organizations and providers What is Gender-Affirming Care? The term gender-affirming care is often used specifically to describe trauma-informed and patient-centered health care sought by trans and non-binary individuals; it can range from medical interventions like hormone replacement therapy and surgical interventions to non-medical gender affirmation that can support social and legal pathways to transition. …

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Street Medicine or Mobile Medical Unit?

Street Medicine or Mobile Medical Unit? Considerations for Expanding Medical Outreach

Primary audience: health centers, free and charitable clinics, safety-net hospitals Meeting people’s needs wherever they may be  As the increase of people living unsheltered drives the overall rise in homelessness, providers increasingly understand that their services must be accessible wherever their clients reside. We must meet people where they are, including indoor locations like soup …

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HCH Director hiring a nurse

So, You Want to Hire a Nurse at a Shelter: It’s Complicated

Primary audience: shelters, rescue missions, homelessness services nonprofits This month’s post serves more to acknowledge the prevalence of a topic than to provide concrete solutions since strategies are so heavily affected by state-specific regulations, so we especially welcome your input in the comments! That issue is the challenge of homeless shelters, rescue missions, or other …

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The Night Ministry Street Team worker talking to homeless man

Tips to Ensure Safety in Street Outreach

Primary audience: Any organization providing street outreach services Photo courtesy of The Night Ministry Street Team Difficult Behavior in HCH Environments Responding to violent incidents and escalated behavior in Health Care for the Homeless (HCH) environments was probably the most pressing topic prior to the pandemic, which necessarily siphoned everyone’s attention. The most resourced and …

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