Father Joe's Street Health Program
Father Joe’s Villages began its new Street Health Program, the first initiative of its kind in San Diego.
Father Joe’s Villages began its new Street Health Program, the first initiative of its kind in San Diego that aims to provide consistent medical services directly to people on the streets of San Diego. Doctors already working with Father Joe’s Villages at its brick-and-mortar medical clinic have begun traveling out to the streets to provide expert primary care. The pilot program has served about a dozen people so far with primary care. According to a number of local experts, 30 percent of individuals experiencing homelessness have complex medical needs and for a variety of reasons, do not seek help by themselves.
A long-term goal of this program is to encourage individuals who are homeless to make it into the clinic regularly and to engage in all of the ways that Father Joe's Villages can help them get back on their feet and move off of the streets for good.
Father Joe's Villages plans to expand the Street Health Program over the next year with an ultimate goal of providing this service every weekday. As part of the expansion, the nonprofit plans to provide even more comprehensive services such as dental care and even psychiatric care directly to those living on the streets.
Medical Director of Father Joe's Villages, Doctor Jeffrey Norris states that many of the people that they meet are facing major physical and psychological barriers. Going to the doctor may be a simple task for us, but it can be a complicated and frustrating process for these patients. What makes the new Street Health Program different is that we are leveraging our decades of experience with outreach at Father Joe's Villages to identify the people on the streets who need our help right then and there -- without any barrier to receiving life-changing care.