Fast Facts: Helping the Homeless Population Open Door Health Services Marla Asberry
About Open Door Health Services • FQHC with locations in Muncie and Anderson (East Central Indiana) • 3 Family Planning Clinics • 3 WIC sites • Provided services to 21,000 • unique patients in 2014 • Large “Access” department with • 9 enrollment staff
Homeless Population Characteristics • Diverse group • All races, ethnicities, immigration • statuses, and backgrounds • Vary in age, family status and length of homelessness • Experience complex physical and mental conditions • Chronic/comorbid conditions, injuries, and addictions are common • Basic needs become priorities • Health care and insurance are secondary • Inconsistency • Home/mailing address and phone number are nonexistent or change
Addressing the Barriers to Enrollment Distrust Transportation • Shelters may provide transportation • ODHS meets individuals where they are Language/literacy • Many of the residents need help understanding health insurance basics and how to acquire health care. • Most know they need health insurance and need to be seen by a provider they just don’t know how to get from point A to point B.
Addressing the Barriers to Enrollment Lack of documentation • If needed, shelter provides letter proving residence • Shelter staff assist residents with obtaining documents like ID or birth certificate Unstable housing • Clients find temporary shelter – (e.g. Muncie Mission Ministries) • Rebuild lives with 12-Step program, counseling, education and skill development • Assisters advise individuals who will not maintain residency at a shelter to report changes immediately to FSSA (within 10 days) • Offer ODHS services to all individuals regardless of their residency at shelter Illegal residency or non-qualified residency • Always suggest applying for health benefits, but advise them that, based on their citizenship status, they may or may not be eligible for full medical benefits.
Best Practices Outreach/Education Techniques • Meet with shelter residents on orientation days on a biweekly basis and schedule appointment for following week to enroll in health insurance • Give business card with appointment time and date • Give form that shows what’s needed for appointment (ID, birth certificate, Social Security card, etc.) Reaching the Homeless Population • Onsite at Mission every Monday (approximately 2 hours) to orientate/enroll individuals • Soup kitchens • Food pantries • Churches • Half-way houses/transitional housing Provide Wrap-Around Services • Promote Coverage to Care and ODHS services including primary care, mental health, substance abuse, oral health, WIC, family planning, etc. • Assist applicants with any additional needs
Best Practices Following-up • Check status of applications on a weekly basis and follow-up with client Building Partnerships • Schedule meeting with shelter/food pantry/half-way house leadership/director • Explain services and assistance you provide • Continually be a resource for the homeless population by maintaining contacts at each of our local shelters and with other agencies that work with this population • Example: Muncie Mission was in full agreement that ODHS’s services were needed to remove barriers to health care, health insurance and transportation Other Key Partners • Our Covering Kids and Families of East Central Coalition including:
Questions? Please complete the quick survey! Open Door Health Services Marla Asberry (765) 286-7000 ext. 4075 email@example.com