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Healthcare for the homeless. A public health agency, a business, and a Catholic provider open a clinic

Healthcare for the homeless. A public health agency, a business, and a Catholic provider open a clinic

Health Progress 74(10): 58-60

In some communities, hospital emergency departments are the only places that provide healthcare services to homeless persons. In Dayton, OH, homeless persons have another option--the Samaritan: A Healthcare Clinic for the Homeless. The clinic is a collaborative venture involving the area's public health department, a Fortune 500 business, and a Catholic hospital. In 1991 Dayton's public health department, the Combined Health District (CHD) of Montgomery County, received an anonymous $50,000 donation to provide primary healthcare services to homeless persons. With the goal of generating a number of stakeholders to invest in the community (which would translate into additional volunteers and donations), CHD asked Good Samaritan Hospital, Dayton, if it would become a partner in launching the clinic. Good Samaritan agreed, seeing this as an opportunity to provide a much-needed community service and to fulfill its mission of providing care to the area's needy citizens. In addition, the project was consistent with the hospital's increased focus on primary care. Sponsors of the Samaritan: A Healthcare Clinic for the Homeless anticipate three outcomes resulting from this collaborative effort. First, the cost of healthcare for Dayton's citizens should decrease. Second, providing healthcare services to the homeless enhances the possibility of breaking the cycle of homelessness. Finally, it is critical that healthcare for the homeless become a community focus.

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