Neighborcare Health's Response to Seattle’s Homeless Crisis
The 2015 the annual One Night Count identified a 21% increase in the number of homeless people on the streets and in shelters in King County. In response to this homeless crisis, Mayor Ed Murray and King County Executive Dow Constantine signed a Proclamation of Emergency
which was then ratified by the Seattle City Council.
Neighborcare Health, the largest provider of health services to homeless and recently homeless individuals, is one of the social service agencies working to address the crisis.
Neighborcare Health currently has six programs focused on caring for the homeless, and supporting their transition into stable housing, and beginning in November we are expanding those services.
Neighborcare Health at Boren
On November 25, Neighborcare Health opened a new clinic tailored to the needs of homeless individuals and families. Located at Virginia & Boren, the clinic is adjacent to the Dutch Shisler Sobering Center in downtown Seattle. The clinic will launch in phases, with the goal of bringing much needed primary care to homeless patients and formerly homeless patients living in nearby housing sites. After a remodel, the fully realized clinic will integrate primary medical care, substance use disorder and mental health counseling to serve more than 1,600 homeless patients per year.
Housing Health Outreach Team (HHOT) Expansion
The Housing Health Outreach Team will continue to provide nursing in supportive housing to help chronically homeless adults remain housed, and in 2016 HHOT will expand to three new housing sites. In addition, Neighborcare Health is launching a primary care pilot at two existing HHOT sites. The pilot program aims to improve access to primary care and therefore health outcomes for those patients who cannot, or will not leave their homes for care, as well as continue to link individuals to a health care home.
As we launch and expand these initiatives, we are working with new and longstanding partners, including community agencies, housing providers and social service providers, to ensure excellent service and health outcomes. Neighborcare Health is committed to meeting our patients where they are, and working to ensure that everyone has a caring healthcare home.