Venice Family Clinic Celebrates 2 Years of Providing Street Medicine Curriculum to Train the Next Generation of Homeless Health Care Providers

April 8, 2024


Successful Training Guide is Being Used as Nationwide Model for Homeless Health Care Providers

VENICE, CA – (April 8, 2024) – Since its launch in 2022, Venice Family Clinic’s Street Medicine Curriculum has been consulted by 105 healthcare organizations, educators and students across 23 states and in Australia. The curriculum is a detailed training guide designed to educate and inspire the next generation of homeless health care providers, and it shares expertise gained from over 38 years of the Clinic’s leadership in street medicine.

Venice Family Clinic, a nonprofit community health center that provides quality health care to 45,000 people in L.A. County, was an early pioneer in delivering street medicine in Los Angeles County. In 1985, the Clinic became the first organization to send health care providers onto the beaches to offer medical assistance to people experiencing homelessness. Since then, the Clinic has continued to expand its street medicine program, which now includes nine teams comprised of 13 healthcare providers and three mobile units that allow clinicians to provide care right where it is needed. Additionally, medical residents, students and other healthcare professionals frequently accompany the Clinic’s teams to gain practical experience in this specialized practice.

“Street medicine is not just about treating illnesses; it’s about restoring dignity, bridging gaps and bringing health care to those who need it most, regardless of whether they have a street address,” said Dr. Coley King, Venice Family Clinic’s director of homeless services. “When we first developed our Street Medicine Curriculum, we believed that it would serve as a model for other organizations that are helping to address homelessness – both locally and nationally. We are proud to see others using this information to reach beyond the walls of their own clinics and classrooms to meet and treat individuals where they are.”

The Curriculum, which the United Way of Greater Los Angeles helped fund in recognition of the Clinic’s expertise in homeless health care, provides integrated, evidence-based guidelines for delivering street medicine and best practices in social care. It outlines protocols for engaging individuals on the streets and managing a range of challenges they might face, such as trauma, substance use and mental health issues. It also offers health care professionals a framework for collaborating with other organizations aiding unsheltered people, ensuring those in need receive access to essential services like housing and transportation, which can significantly improve their health and overall welfare.


Venice Family Clinic’s Street Medicine Curriculum has been available online since its introduction two years ago and has garnered significant interest both nationwide and globally. People in California, Ohio, Hawaii, Michigan and 19 other states, as well as in Australia, have consulted it to aid in their own work and studies addressing homelessness. Local organizations that have downloaded and referenced the Curriculum include the California Primary Care Association, Los Angeles County Department of Public Health and Los Angeles County Department of Homeless Services.


The Curriculum is part of the Clinic’s comprehensive effort to get more people involved in street medicine. The Clinic takes physicians, physician assistants, nurse practitioners, residents and medical students into the field to learn about and experience the practice firsthand. Current and future clinicians from UCLA, Harbor UCLA, USC, Charles Drew University and Cedars Sinai participate in this training – from shadowing for a day to completing a full six-week rotation with the Clinic’s expert practitioners. Since the Clinic started tracking these training engagements in 2019, more than 210 individuals have benefitted from this hands-on experience.

To further support its homeless health care services and provide a model for others, Venice Family Clinic also designed a tailored interior layout for its mobile clinics that supports a wide range of expected services while providing a welcoming and comfortable environment for patients. This design has been shared with approximately 30 different organizations, including UCLA, Wilmington Community Clinic and Dignity Health.

Several health care providers, medical residents, students and teachers who have consulted the Curriculum and experienced the work have praised it, saying it was “eye opening” in terms of providing homeless health care and that it “helped shape my understanding of patients experiencing homelessness.”

About Venice Family Clinic                                            

Venice Family Clinic is a nonprofit community health center that is a leader in providing comprehensive, high-quality health care to more than 45,000 people in need annually, regardless of their income, insurance or immigration status. The Clinic serves an area from the Santa Monica Mountains through the South Bay in Los Angeles County. It has a network of clinic locations and Early Head Start centers in Venice, Santa Monica, Mar Vista, Inglewood, Culver City, Redondo Beach, Carson, Gardena and Hawthorne, plus mobile clinics and an expansive street medicine program to reach people experiencing homelessness. The Clinic’s comprehensive care also includes mental health services, dental care, vision services, substance use treatment, prescription medications, domestic violence counseling, HIV services, healthy food distributions, health education, health insurance enrollment, child development services and more. For more information, please visit and follow on FacebookX (formerly Twitter) and Instagram.