The formerly homeless in Cleveland, who reside in a number of housing units throughout Cuyahoga County, will now have access to mental, dental, and medical healthcare, thanks to a new mobile healthcare clinic.
Serving more than 600 formerly homeless, the mobile health clinic is an endeavor of the Housing First of Cuyahoga County. The Housing First Organization, which includes more than 40 groups, recently launched the mobile health clinic, called the Integrated Physical and Behavioral Health Care Mobile Clinic, as to provide consistent care to Cleveland’s most underserved population.
The mobile clinic, says the Housing First Organization, provides care to a “very vulnerable” population, which often times does not have consistent access to healthcare.
Housing First now provides apartment housing to the formerly homeless, all of whom are single adults, and many of whom are veterans. The mobile clinic will visit the 10 Housing First Buildings about every two weeks. On-site counselors will make mobile appointments for the residents, although walk-ins are welcomed, too.
Medical assistants, psychiatric nurse practitioners, and other medical professionals staff the clinic. The medical assistants in the clinic will complete lab work to test for diabetes, provide blood pressure checks, perform body mass index evaluations, and more. They will then provide referrals if specialized medical care is needed.
The mobile clinic is being funded by a $478,000 grant from the Housing Investment Fund, a project of the Ohio Housing Finance Agency. The Ohio Housing Finance Agency recognized that many homeless residents suffer from chronic illnesses and mental health issues, which often times presents a dual situation. Therefore, integration of care for this population is vital.