Start: September 2020
Funder: California Health Care Foundation
California has the largest number of individuals experiencing homelessness in the nation, with more than 151,000 individuals living on the streets and in shelters. People experiencing homelessness suffer from poorer health, have life expectancy rates 20 to 30 years lower than the general population, and have less access to needed preventive, primary, and specialty health care services. The high prevalence of chronic physical health conditions, behavioral health needs, and acute and infectious illnesses has only been exacerbated in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic.
To address the challenges related to meeting the health care needs of individuals experiencing homelessness, the Center for Health Care Strategies, with support from the California Health Care Foundation, is launching the California Health Care and Homelessness Learning Community. This statewide initiative will bring together stakeholders from California to learn from peers and experts across the nation about innovative approaches to improve health services for homeless populations.
Over 12 months, the learning community will:
- Support a shared platform for participants throughout California to learn from each other, stay current on activities and approaches being tested and implemented, and foster opportunities to support the scale and spread of promising practices;
- Identify collaboration and information-sharing opportunities at the local, regional, and statewide level;
- Educate participants regarding policy levers and opportunities to address the health care needs of individuals experiencing homelessness under the California Advancing and Innovating Medi-Cal (CalAIM) initiative and other state and national auspices;
- Connect California stakeholders to relevant innovations and experts elsewhere in the country to help accelerate the spread and uptake of promising approaches; and
- Identify high-priority areas for the field for policymakers and philanthropy to focus on in subsequent years to meaningfully meet the health care needs of this population, in addition to key opportunities and levers for doing so.
CHCS will distill key lessons from the learning community and share emerging best practices with California stakeholders and a broad national audience to inform efforts nationally for improving health care for individuals experiencing homelessness.
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