Research Publications

Publications older than 5 years are located in the Research Archives.


Demonstrating Value: Measuring the Impact of the Health Care for the Homeless Grantees | August 2017

Alaina Boyer, National Health Care for the Homeless Council 

Demonstrating the value of health centers is a necessary element of sustainability and measuring benefit. To help illustrate that value, this document provides an overview of the complex challenges facing homeless populations, the history of Health Care for the Homeless, and the critical impact of the work of HCH programs.


Addressing the Opioid Epidemic: How the Opioid Crisis Affects Homeless Populations | August 2017

Brett Poe and Alaina Boyer, National Health Care for the Homeless Council 

This fact sheet examines how the opioid crisis affects people without homes. America is facing an opioid crisis, and that epidemic has significantly impacted people without homes. Homeless populations have higher rates of substance use disorders, poorer health, and higher mortality rates by opioid overdose than national averages. Our publication examines the social determinants of health that contribute to that increased prevalence and morbidity. It also details the systemic barriers that hinder access to care and success in recovery for people without homes, as well as best practices to address those barriers. Read the fact sheet.


Using the Social Ecological Model to examine how homelessness is defined and managed in rural East Tennessee | April 2016

Claudia Davidson, Velma M Murry, Molly Meinbresse, Darlene M Jenkins, and Robert Mindrup

Often conceptualized as an urban issue, homelessness in rural communities is pervasive due to high rates of poverty, lack of affordable housing, inadequate housing quality, unemployment/underemployment, and geographic isolation. In 2014, the National HCH Council in collaboration with Vanderbilt University and Cherokee Health Systems conducted a study in rural East Tennessee. The purpose of this study was to provide insight to how rural communities define and manage homelessness as well as engage unstably housed individuals on homeless services by investigating the perceptions of different levels of influence of the Social Ecological Model including the individual, organization, and government levels. This publication gives an overview of rural homelessness, methodology, results, and discussion of findings. Read the full publication.


Health and Homelessness among Veterans: Development and Pilot of a Military History Screening Tool | May 2015

Claudia Davidson and Darlene Jenkins, National Health Care for the Homeless Council 

Accurate knowledge of veteran status is essential, as veterans may qualify for a number of Veteran Affair’s (VA) services and benefits that can resolve their health conditions and/or experiences of homelessness. Moreover, information regarding military service may be clinically significant to Health Care for the Homeless (HCH) providers, as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), traumatic brain injury (TBI), sexual trauma and certain toxic environmental exposures are common among veterans. In 2013, the National HCH Council conducted a veterans needs assessment which revealed that though providers are inquiring about veteran status, their methods in doing so were inconsistent and not culturally appropriate. Based on these findings, staff at the National HCH Council in collaboration with VA experts developed and piloted a Military History Screening Tool for its use by HCH programs and potentially other organizations. This report includes the steps used in developing the tool and presents results of the pilot conducted in Boston, MA.


Homeless Care Providers and Rapid HIV Testing | April 2015

Patrina Twilley and Darlene Jenkins, National Health Care for the Homeless Council 

HIV testing and counseling are the cornerstones of HIV prevention response, allowing individuals to know their HIV status and access appropriate services. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends routine, voluntary HIV screening for all patients aged 13 to 65 years in all health care settings as a normal part of medical practice, similar to screening for other treatable conditions. In the spring of 2013, staff of the National HCH Council in collaboration with Dr. Cathie Fogg, Associate Nursing Professor at St. Anslem College in Manchester, NH developed a survey based on Pender’s Health Promotion Model. The survey was administered to homeless care providers  to assess their Rapid HIV testing practices. The report contains the results of the survey.


Exploring the Experiences of Violence Among Individuals Who Are Homeless Using a Consumer-Led Approach | 2014

Meinbresse M, Brinkley-Rubinstein L, Grassette A, Benson J, Hall C, Hamilton R, Malott M, Jenkins D. Exploring the Experiences of Violence Among Individuals Who Are Homeless Using a Consumer-Led Approach. Violence and Victims, 29(1):122-136.

The purpose of this study was to estimate the prevalence of violence victimization among individuals who were homeless and patients of HCH grantees and to describe the characteristics related to their perpetrators, injuries incurred and assistance sought. The National HCH Council Research Committee provided consultation to the National Consumer Advisory Board in developing a rigorous research process to explore these issues. Results from this survey were presented in 2011 as a workshop at the National HCH Conference and as a poster at the American Public Health Association 139th Annual Meeting & Expo in Washington, DC. View the poster.