The Joint Application Was Selected Out of More Than 40 Proposals From Across The State
SAN DIEGO, CA., JAN. 25, 2021 – The nexus between healthcare and homelessness has never been more apparent than during the Covid-19 pandemic. To study this issue and learn from experts throughout the state of California, the Regional Task Force on Homelessness (RTFH) and Father Joe’s Villages have teamed up to participate in the state of California’s Health and Homelessness Learning Community.
The joint proposal from the two San Diego organizations were selected out of more than 40 proposals from across the state, with the RTFH being one of only two Continuums of Care (CoC) to participate, along with the Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority (LAHSA).
“We’ve long known that health care impacts homelessness, and vice versa,” said RTFH CEO Tamera Kohler. “The pandemic has shown a very bright light on this reality and has spurred deeper conversations about ways to bring best practices from the two closer together. Being selected to participate in the Health and Homelessness Learning Community with Father Joe’s Villages will help us bring innovating solutions to our region, as well as give us the opportunity to share some of the things we are doing well.”
Hosted by the Center for Healthcare Strategies, with support from the California Health Care Foundation, the Learning Community will help enhance San Diego’s efforts to build a cross-sector system with health, housing and homelessness partnerships by bringing lessons learned from across the state. This will include new and innovative strategies to better coordinate healthcare services with the homeless system of care, as well as aid in planning for the implementation of California Advancing and Innovating Medi-Cal (CalAIM), a multi-year state initiative that aims to use a whole person care approach and address social determinants of health, such as housing status.
“For decades, Father Joe’s Villages has enacted innovative solutions through the intersection of homelessness, housing and health care. We have shown how the direct integration of healthcare and social services is essential to ending homelessness. However, across California, many healthcare and social services systems operate in silos, which means the needs of individuals are not met as well as they could be,” said Deacon Jim Vargas, President and CEO of Father Joe’s Villages. “We are excited to partner with RTFH and the Center for Healthcare Strategies to share our experiences and learn from others’ efforts in California to uplift the health and well-being of people in need.”
The Homeless Learning Community is comprised of health plans, public agencies, Federally Qualified Health Centers, hospitals and homeless services providers. Meetings kicked off in November 2020 and will continue through 2021.
For more info on the learning collaborative and to view other selected entities across the state click here.
About the Regional Taskforce on the Homeless
The Regional Task Force on Homelessness is the authority and lead coordinator in the San Diego region for new and best practices and policies to prevent, alleviate and ultimately end homelessness in San Diego. The RTFH brings together stakeholders from across the region who are committed to data driven and informed policies. And it is the lead agency for the San Diego Continuum of Care (CoC) and is responsible for the region’s annual Point in Time Count; policy, advocacy and research; acquiring and disseminating funding; and management of the region’s Coordinated Entry System (CES) and Homeless Management Information System (HMIS).