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Statement of Principles and Mission

The National Health Care for the Homeless Council was founded on the principles that

  • homelessness is unacceptable;
  • every person has the right to adequate food, housing, clothing, and health care;
  • all people have the right to participate in the decisions affecting their lives;
  • contemporary homelessness is the product of conscious social and economic policy decisions that have retreated from a commitment to ensuring basic life necessities for all people; and
  • the struggle to end homelessness and alleviate its consequences takes many forms, including efforts to ensure adequate housing, health care, and access to meaningful work.

Grounded in human rights and social justice, the National Health Care for the Homeless Council’s mission is to build an equitable, high-quality health care system through training, research, and advocacy in the movement to end homelessness.

To accomplish its mission, the National HCH Council strives to

  • create and disseminate knowledge regarding the interaction of inadequate housing and poor health;
  • maintain active relationships with a broad range of service providers, consumer and advocacy groups, academic institutions, and public officials, in the United States and internationally;
  • promote clinical practices and public policies that will improve the health status of people without homes or at risk of homelessness; and
  • demonstrate its commitment to human rights and adherence to its founding principles in its activities, governance structure, internal policies, and external partnerships.

Consistent with its mission, the National HCH Council

  • advocates for universal health care and for the improvement of current systems intended to serve people who are poor and homeless;
  • researches critical issues;
  • trains and organize health care providers, service agencies, and homeless people themselves to improve care;
  • publishes newsletters, monographs, action alerts, policy statements, training videos and books; and
  • collaborates with a broad range of public and private entities interested in the problems of health care and homelessness.

This website is supported by the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) as part of an award totaling $1,967,147 with 20 percent financed with non-governmental sources. The contents are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily represent the official views of, nor an endorsement, by HRSA, HHS, or the U.S. Government. For more information, please visit

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