Healthcare for Homeless (H4H)
Organized by: Hillary Liang
Event Name: CGI U Commitments Challenge 2016
Our project, Healthcare for the Homeless (H4H), aims to connect the homeless population with health resources and register them for health insurance. Our goal of $80,000 will fund the initiative for the next two years. We will donate all unused funds to homeless shelters in San Francisco.
H4H leverages education and a health resource fair platform to register the homeless population for health insurance. As San Francisco-natives, we recognize the evident problem of health inequity in the Bay Area. We believe that the city and its people have a moral imperative to make sure everyone has access to healthcare coverage as a right and not a privilege.
Our solution addresses the growing number of homeless individuals with health conditions in San Francisco. Without resources and proper health education, the homeless population develops chronic health conditions at a greater rate than the general population. The fear of having to pay out-of-pocket for mental health services causes many to not seek help at all. Homeless individuals are more prone to critical health conditions due to their frequent encounters to trauma and self-inflicted injuries. As a result, they utilize hospital emergency departments at a greater rate compared to the rest of the general population. The large influx of patients put a strain on hospital resources needed to treat other acute care incidents, but more importantly, shows that more cost-effective resources are not utilized. A shift towards the use of primary care or community-based alternatives will provide homeless individuals will essential preventative care options. By bringing healthcare providers and potential users together, individuals become better equipped to make informed decisions about their health needs.
From April 2016 to November 2016, we will hold eight pop-up fairs to inform the public about the project with Sunday Streets in San Francisco. These fairs will raise awareness about the issue and garner community support. We plan to organize multiple workshops from January 2017 to October 2017 to teach volunteers how to register the homeless population for health insurance. Our partners, NAMI SF and Concrn, will offer a second workshop series to provide compassionate crisis response classes in mental health training. During Open Enrollment, from November 2017 to January 2018, we plan to hold fifteen pop-up patient-centered mental health resource fairs to educate the homeless population of existing health resources in the city and register them for health care insurance. Our first target community is the Tenderloin neighborhood, which has the largest homeless and at-risk mental health population in San Francisco.
Furthermore, we will partner with city officials, stakeholders, and other local organizations who understand the demographic trends of these communities. These strategic partnerships will bring a variety of diverse resources to the fairs in order to meet the individualized needs of our target population. The fair can reconnect homeless individuals to both health resources and the community, thus helping rebuild trust and decreasing the stigma of homelessness.
Thank you for your time and consideration. No contribution is too small. If you would like to attend a workshop or volunteer, please contact - firstname.lastname@example.org - for more information. We greatly appreciate your help in making these pop-up fairs a reality!