LOS ANGELES, Jan. 20, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- National Health Foundation (NHF) yesterday hosted what they hope will be the first in a series of convenings with recuperative care providers in Los Angeles County to discuss providers' experiences serving individuals experiencing homelessness with the Greater Los Angeles Coordinated Entry System (CES).
Additionally, the convening addressed the future possible recognition, licensing and integration of recuperative care providers into the continuum of care for individuals experiencing homelessness. In addition to recuperative care providers in the region, NHF was joined by representatives from United Way of Greater Los Angeles, Conrad N. Hilton Foundation and Corporation for Supportive Housing.
The CES is a means of centralizing homeless service providers' efforts, creating real time lists of individuals experiencing homelessness and triaging those experiencing homelessness to the appropriate housing solution. The CES is operating in all areas of LA County through the support and coordination of over 100 local service providers and is designed to provide outreach and triaging of homeless individuals, assistance in collecting needed documentation for housing and referrals of the highest priority persons to permanent supportive housing.
The 2016 Greater Los Angeles County Homeless Count established that nearly 44,000 Angelenos are experiencing homelessness and of those, nearly 29,000 are living on the streets. Unsheltered individuals were asked about their health and more than 29,600 cases of mental illness, substance abuse, physical disability, HIV/AIDS, a chronic health issue or a brain injury were reported. In many instances several factors were present. The prevalence of health issues among individuals experiencing homelessness points to a direct need to integrate healthcare providers, specifically recuperative care providers, into the CES continuum.
"Recuperative care providers are coming together to ensure the vulnerable people they serve are receiving help in a coordinated, effective manner rather than being passed from one agency to another in a maze of confusion," said Beth Stokes, CSH Managing Director, Western Region. "These providers recognize a Coordinated Entry System that standardizes client intake, increases housing capacity and placements, and puts the needs of the person first is the prescription for successfully addressing many of the challenges we face in the LA region."
Hospitals in LA County naturally provide services for homeless individuals but the challenge of where to discharge a patient to has given rise to Recuperative Care.
"When an individual experiencing homelessness is discharged from the hospital, they inevitably have some additional healing to do and it is impossible for this to happen on the streets. Recuperative Care is a medically supervised space in which the patient can completely heal and can experience a significant interruption in homelessness. Often it is this interruption that triggers the individual to seek out permanent housing," says Kelly Bruno, MSW, NHF President/CEO.
Ken Craft, Hope of the Valley Rescue Mission CEO added, "The ultimate goal of Recuperative Care is for clients to be healed and housed thus breaking the cycle of homelessness. Participating in the Coordinated Entry System insures that those most in need are prioritized to receive such essential services."
Yesterday's convening was an opportunity to start a conversation with providers to share best practices and explore policy options that establish credentialing or licensing for recuperative care in order for the care to be covered by insurance and Medi-Cal, bringing uniformity to quality program delivery.
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National Health Foundation website: nhfca.org
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SOURCE National Health Foundation