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Health program targets homeless

Prompted by a 2003 study conducted by Michael Cousineau, director of the division of community health in the Department of Family Medicine, a community coalition recently announced the launch of several comprehensive health care programs to serve the homeless of Skid Row.

Supported by a combination of grants totaling approximately $3.2 million, the Skid Row Homeless Health Care Initiative (SRHHCI) will run six programs to serve homeless individuals in the areas of preventive care, specialty and recuperative care, chronic disease and quality management, and improving the overall coordination of inpatient care.

A Weingart Foundation grant will provide initial funding for the pilot project, which is a collaborative effort spearheaded by the Community Clinic Association of Los Angeles County (CCALAC) in partnership with other health care services organizations throughout Los Angeles County.

Created in January 2004, the SRHHCI is a coalition of 19 local health and social-service providers that have worked to bring much-needed services to Los Angeles’ homeless residents.

The group was formed in response to a study commissioned by the Weingart Foundation and conducted by Cousineau. The 2003 study, “Neglect on the Streets: The Health and Mental Health Status & Access to Care for the Homeless Adults and Children in Central Los Angeles,” identified an immediate need for coordinated planning among local providers to eliminate duplication of efforts and maximize limited resources for the region’s homeless population. The coalition then designed programs through a planning process led by the CCALAC.

Cousineau said, “So much more can be accomplished when agencies join together and work cooperatively to provide services to a community. It will be exciting to see the impact these coordinated services can have on improving the health status of our homeless population.”

For more information about the SRHHCI, contact Dana Knoll at the Community Clinic Association of Los Angeles County at (213) 201-6506 or visit

Health program targets homeless

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