Since 1988, the mission of HealthNet’s Homeless Initiative Program (HIP) has been to assist homeless persons in reaching a level of self sufficiency consistent with their goals and capabilities for health and social well-being. HIP’s 26 person staff utilize a multi-disciplinary approach to provide health care, street outreach, intensive case management, housing, and employment and training services to homeless individuals and families. HIP works in collaboration with other agencies to provide a well-coordinated network of services to treat the whole person as he or she moves from homelessness to permanent housing. HIP’s mobile medical team consists of two family nurse practitioners, two medical assistants, and a part-time physician medical director. They provide health education, acute and chronic care, free pregnancy testing and vaccinations for children and referrals to hospitals and specialists that include dental care, foot care, eye exams, and pre-natal support and education through HealthNet’s Ob/Gyn services.
24 hour emergency on-call, Asthma treatment, Basic Needs, Blood Pressure Monitoring, Cancer Screening, Case Management/Social Services, Chronic Bronchitis/Emphysema, Contraceptives (issued w/counseling), Dental/oral Care, Diabetes Testing/Care, Documenting Disability Services, Family Planning, Financial counseling, Flu Vaccinations, Health/Nutritional Education, HIV/AIDS screening/education, Housing placement, Immunizations, Interpretation services, Labs, Medication Prescribing, Medication Dispensing, Mobile Medical Services, OB/GYN, Optometry Services, Outreach, Pediatrics, Physical Exams, Primary Health Care, Referrals for Specialty Care, Services in permanent supportive housing, Shelter outreach, SOAR services, STD Testing, Street Outreach, TB screening/education, Tobacco cessation, Well Child Check-ups
Patients who are homeless and in need of emergency, subspeciality, or hospital care are referred to Eskenazi Health or their pre-existing managed care provider. Linkages are in place with the Salvation Army Harbor Light and Pathway to Recovery for residential substance abuse treatment and with Midtown and Adult and Child Community Mental Health Centers for mental health evaluation and treatment. Veterans are linked with the VA Medical Center for both substance abuse and mental health treatment. The medical team partners with 8 shelters, missions, and transitional housing sites where they travel at least weekly to provide medical services to the homeless residents. Other HIP staff coordinate services for homeless clients through more than 30 different agencies.
Estimated homeless population: 4,500-7,500
Patients served: 3,000