The Health, Housing and Homeless Services Division integrates housing and homeless services across our health system; coordinates health and homeless services across county government and in the community; and works with key partners such as the Employment and Human Services Department, the Housing Authority, school districts, housing providers, law enforcement and cities to develop innovative strategies to address the community’s health and social needs.
This new division was established to meet the requirements of the Medi-Cal 2020 Waiver, which recognizes the nexus between improving population health and providing safe housing. It has new requirements for meeting the needs of our highest risk patients, many of whom are homeless. We have learned that we will never be able to end homelessness without addressing the upstream social determinants of health. Access to basic needs such as nutritious food, housing, and safe places to exercise and play have been found to impact the health of those whom we serve. The Medi-Cal 2020 Waiver requires that health systems like ours address these social needs, and funding is linked to our ability to do this successfully.