Neighborcare Health’s Family Team travels to women’s-only and co-ed homeless and domestic violence shelters and transitional living spaces to connect women and children to services that foster and improve health and overall stability. By bringing health care to homeless families where they are, a woman and her children who have been abused can receive care in the security of their anonymous shelter. Our hope is to help homeless families access the tools they need to be more proactive in their health care, which in turn allows them to transition into more stable and permanent living situations.
The program focuses on the needs of children, but also works as a support network for the entire family. In essence, the Family Team program operates as a mobile “comprehensive care center” that links homeless families with services they need to become healthy, continually striving to improve their access to affordable primary and preventive care.
Our Family Team program follows Neighborcare Health’s patient care model of treating the whole person. As such, it offers comprehensive primary and preventive care services, such as treatment of colds, flus, wounds, and other acute conditions; helping patients self-manage chronic diseases such as diabetes, high blood pressure, and heart disease; child health care, such as immunizations; early-age developmental screenings; and treatment of problems commonly experienced by homeless children such as anemia, asthma, and dental disease; mental health services, such as crisis intervention therapy, counseling, and parenting skills. It also offers general living supplies support, such as baby formula, thermometers, first aid kits, diapers, hygiene and school supplies, and clothing.
In 2011, FT provided 617 visits for 274 patients: 94% were below the federal poverty level, 60% were uninsured, and 74% were ethnic minorities.