Healthcare for homeless...need some help

  1. Hi all! I'm writing a paper re: Barriers/Delivery of Healthcare to the Homeless. I'm getting kind of frustrated because I'd really like to interview someone in the field and no one is returning my calls!

    I searched the archives here and didn't find anything relating to what I am looking for. I did come across that very interesting debate re: healthcare being a right, etc.

    Anybody out there work or volunteer in this area? Some of the questions I have are:

    As a healthcare provider, what you do find to be the most difficult aspect in dealing with the homeless?
    Does your facility have certain requirements that the indivual must meet in order to receive routine care? (ie. drug free, etc.)
    What types of barriers do your clients face?
    What would you like to see happen with the system in the future?

    I would GREATLY appreciate any input!

    Thank you!
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  2. 10 Comments

  3. by   eltrip
    There's a homeless health clinic in my city. We're cross-country from you, but someone there might be willing to chat with you. PM me & let me know.
  4. by   SandyB
    Did you call Salvation Army? The have a program for homeless people. And if your near San Diego I know they have an awesome program-located Downtown..can't remeber the name but call any SD mental health clinic and I know they would have it...

    Good luck w/the paper...I know I'm working on a similar area for a class-but it's not due for a month or so.....
    Also I have a list of Riverside homeless shelters....PM me or email me and I can send you some info on them if you need it.
  5. by   renerian
    Our hospital has a mobile clinic for poor and homeless. Does your hospital in your area have something like that?

    renerian
  6. by   pickledpepperRN
    Try the Free Clinic too. I used to volunteer.

    http://www.lafreeclinic.org/Contact/...letter2003.pdf
  7. by   Allison S.
    Boston Healthcare for the Homeless spoke to my class at school. Very inspiring. It didn't even occur to me that migrant workers who take care of racehorses were part of their clientele. These guys are no bums!

    I recall an article in the Boston Globe a few years back in which they discussed establishing trust with clients. Perhaps you could find that. Good luck!
  8. by   BadBird
    One of my patients was homeless, he receives excellent care, being homeless has nothing to do with the care we give. He is highly educated, was a professor, intelligent, humerous. He chose to be homeless, according to him it was his way of feeling "free" as he described it. He was easy to talk to, he loved to talk, I asked him if he planned on living in a assisted facility after his partial amputations of both feet and he said why? I have everything I need at my "camp" as he described his homestead. He was very clean, he would go to the shelter daily for a shower but he would not stay in one even when the weather is 5 degrees outside. This particular hospital has a clinic for patients who can pay a little or nothing at all but the care is excellent.
  9. by   Katnip
    I can only tell you about my experiences with the homeless as a student.

    One of the major barriers to getting healthcare is transportation. In the city, it's not so bad. But in suburban and rural areas it's really tough to get to clinics.

    Also, many clinics are overcrowded and waits can last all day. And in the city where I go to school, there are some, as my clinical instructor says, "I wouldn't send a cockroach there".
  10. by   emily_mom
    PM me, as I volunteer at a center.

    Kristy
  11. by   Dr. Kate
    You also might try a local chapter of the Emergency Nurses Association, or the national ENA.
  12. by   Allison S.
    I've been thinking about this. Think of all the things you need to get health care. It helps to have a phone to make an appointment, an address to send results to, money to pay for it and for prescriptions, supplies, etc. and transporation was already mentioned.

    What about following directions when you get "home". Washing hands requires running water. Storing meds may require refrigeration. Applying hea, applying ice, etc. Getting adequate rest, if you don't have a safe place to be. Good nutrition is tough enough without poverty and no place for storage.

    I think that the two big barriers here, to a healthcare provider, are access to the patient for follow-up, and providing adequate supplies/meds.

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