Council Activities

The National HCH Council anticipates the implementation of the Affordable Care Act will benefit many people experiencing homelessness, particularly those living in states that have opted to expand Medicaid to most low-income adults.  Enrolling this population into new health insurance options will require a new emphasis on outreach as a tool to engage individuals into both the benefits and clinical care that will help improve our clients’ stability.  To this end, the Council is working to improve its outreach tools and enrollment strategies.  This list will describe our current activities.  Please see our health reform page if you’d like more information about how the ACA will impact people experiencing homelessness.


The National Outreach Guidelines for Underserved Populations (2012) were developed through a collaboration of five national partner organizations: the Association of Community Health Centers (NACHC), the National Health Care for the Homeless Council (NHCHC), the Association of Asian Pacific Community Health Organizations (AAPCHO), Migrant Health Promotion (MHP) and the Health Outreach Partners (HOP). The organizations worked with an advisory panel made up of representatives from community health centers and other support organizations across the country to update and expand the Farmworker Outreach Program Guidelines developed by HOP in 2000. HOP is hosting both the executive summary and the complete guidelines on their website.


Outreach to People Experiencing Homelessness: A Curriculum for Training Health Care for the Homeless Outreach Workers (2005) – The purpose of this outreach curriculum is to provide a comprehensive overview of the principles, knowledge and issues relevant to doing outreach in the Health Care for the Homeless context. It is intended to serve as a guide for anyone involved in facilitating training for outreach workers in Health Care for the Homeless settings and other outreach programs. To access a copy of this training curriculum, please contact council@nhchc.org.

Health Care for the Homeless: Outreach Video – A 21-minute videotape that looks at the essential components of HCH outreach teams, including where outreach is done, the purpose of outreach, who should do outreach, needed skills, and how to practice self-care.

Mobile Health Outreach

Mobile Medical Outreach: A Commitment to Service (2009) – This homeless health care case report, developed by the HCH Clinicians’ Network, elucidates components of mobile medical outreach treatment, highlighting best practices and evidence-based primary care. The report presents a compelling case submitted by Outside In Community Medical Outreach in Portland. Oregon. It discusses engagement, continuity of care, social service advocacy, supportive housing, the use of Model for End-Stage Liver Disease (MELD) scoring and the Short Alcohol Dependence Data Questionnaire (SADD).

Mobile Health Care for Homeless People: Using Vehicles to Extend Care (2007) – This report describes the experiences of 33 HCH projects that use outreach vehicles, ranging from passenger vans to custom-designed clinics on wheels, to provide a variety of health services to people without stable housing. Topics discussed include the rationale for mobile health outreach to homeless populations, services provided and staffing models, types and designs of mobile units, financing and administration of mobile health programs, obstacles encountered and strategies used to address them, and factors to which HCH providers attribute the success of these mobile outreach efforts.

Healing Hands Newsletters


Additional Resources