Venice Family Clinic CEO calls for president to include health care in homeless initiatives

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact:   Michelle Stuffmann
mstuffmann@mednet.ucla.edu
(310) 664-7912

 

VENICE FAMILY CLINIC CEO CALLS FOR PRESIDENT TO INCLUDE HEALTH CARE IN HOMELESS INITIATIVES

 

VENICE – (Sept. 16, 2019) – Elizabeth Benson Forer, Venice Family Clinic CEO who met last week with the leader of the U.S. Public Health Service Commissioned Corps (Corps) during the administration’s visits to homeless programs in Los Angeles, today called for the president to address the need to provide health care, along with housing, for people experiencing homelessness in Los Angeles during his visit to Los Angeles this week.

“During his visit to our state, we hope the president will take the time to understand this issue and seek humanitarian and meaningful solutions,” Forer said. “Proposals aren’t enough. Action is needed now. Success will depend not only on funding for homeless programs but on all programs that serve those in need – from affordable housing to the continuation and extension of Medi-Cal coverage.”

Forer and Venice Family Clinic leaders met on Tuesday with a member of the administration’s team, Rear Admiral Susan Orsega, director, Commissioned Corps Headquarters, that was visiting Los Angeles to learn more about the city’s homeless programs.

Forer said her team described the Venice Family Clinic’s health care services for people experiencing homelessness. The clinic serves more than 27,000 low-income people, about 4,500 of whom are people experiencing homelessness, through its network of clinics and its nine “street medicine” teams who provide health care to those living on the street.

“Our experience shows that health care is critical to the success of housing many of those experiencing homelessness,” Forer said. “Many have experienced trauma in their lives and providing health care, including injectable medications for mental health issues, helps establish the connections needed to get people experiencing homelessness to consider shelter and helps ensure they succeed in housing programs.”

The lifespan for people experiencing homelessness is about half as long as those with homes, and they are dying at a rate of nearly three a day in Los Angeles.

 

About Venice Family Clinic

Venice Family Clinic is a leader in providing comprehensive, high quality primary health care to people in need. Launched in 1970, the Clinic has grown from a small storefront operation into the largest community health center on the Westside of Los Angeles. With the help of more than 1,300 volunteers, including nearly 400 physicians, it provides comprehensive medical, behavioral health, dental, substance use treatment, vision, child development, health education and health insurance enrollment services to more than 27,000 men, women and children annually through 12 sites in Venice, Santa Monica, Mar Vista, Inglewood and Culver City. For more information, visit venicefamilyclinic.org. Follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

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