In California, roughly 181,000 people — about 30 percent of the nation’s homeless population — are currently experiencing homelessness, including a disproportionate number of people of color. Last fall, more than 70 homelessness and health care experts converged in Oakland, California to exchange ideas and spotlight innovative programs to help people experiencing homelessness. The convening was part of the Partnerships for Action: California Health Care & Homelessness Learning Collaborative (P4A). This two-year initiative, created by the California Health Care Foundation (CHCF) and the Center for Health Care Strategies (CHCS), is focused on improving care delivery and health and housing outcomes for Californians experiencing homelessness.

This “Lessons from the Field” brief, developed by CHCF, highlights how P4A pilot efforts are fostering innovative cross-sector collaboration to better serve people experiencing homelessness. The brief describes key themes uncovered through the P4A initiative, including how to build strong partnerships, ways to refine the business case, the benefit of having managed care plans as partners, the power of community engagement, and above all, the value of peer supports and lived experience. As Cardea Health peer support specialist Jahmal Ironcoat Muhammad-Khan noted, the most important thing in this work is to “keep as many people as possible above ground. Let your judgments go.”

The below two-minute video, produced by CHCS, takes a closer look at P4A’s collaborative efforts to tackle homelessness. It features first-hand insights from P4A participants representing 5Cities Homeless Coalition, The Illumination Foundation, and Alameda County Health Care for the Homeless.

YouTube video