Homelessness is linked to exposure to disease, chronic illnesses, and disabilities. Housing stability affects health. Homelessness can lead to health complications, shorter life expectancy, and costly treatment--housing assistance and supportive services can make all the difference. Our support teams help participants access routine doctor visits, remain on medication, cut back on use of alcohol and drugs, and access appropriate health services instead of crisis care.
We’ve long been exploring ways to integrate supportive housing with health care systems. In 2012, Hearth Connection partnered with Medica to launch the Medica Supportive Housing Project. In an unprecedented collaboration among supportive housing providers and a group health plan, this project will bring services and new housing opportunities to people with chronic medical conditions and long histories of homelessness.
The Medica Supportive Housing Project offers a coordinated approach to health care, housing, and services. Medica will offer health care services to people who often resort to emergency services for treatment, and participants will receive supportive services and affordable housing through Hearth Connection and its service partners. Medica is purchasing case management services for identified health plan clients and Hearth Connection is providing rental subsidies to ensure access to housing. This project builds upon the premiere work of Hearth Connection's Hospital to Home projects delivered by Guild Incorporated at Regions Hospital and by RESOURCE, Inc. at Hennepin County Medical Center.
This is a three year project with the potential to be renewed. During this period, Medica and Hearth Connection will track client-centered outcomes in an effort to evaluate and demonstrate the impact of supportive housing on participants’ health utilization and overall improvement of well-being. Analysis of the initiative will also track housing stability, health outcomes and cost savings.