February 28, 2022
Nonprofit Community Health Center’s Leadership Led to United Way Funding to Develop a Guide for Providing Care to People Experiencing Homelessness
VENICE, CA – (February 28, 2022) – Venice Family Clinic, a nonprofit community health center that provides primary care to 45,000 people in L.A. County, announced today that it has launched its Street Medicine Curriculum, a detailed training guide designed to inspire and educate the next generation of homeless health care providers.
Venice Family Clinic was the first community health center in L.A. County to send health care providers into the streets to provide care to people experiencing homelessness. From this start in 1985, the Clinic created a street medicine program that has grown to nine teams with eleven health care providers. Medical residents, students and other health care providers often join the Clinic’s teams to learn how to provide care to people experiencing homelessness.
Venice Family Clinic’s leadership in homeless health care led the United Way of Greater Los Angeles to provide the funding to develop the Street Medicine Curriculum, which provides students and practitioners with clinical and social tools to address the complex challenges people experiencing homelessness face. The grant also provided funding to build a structure for training students and medical residents.
“In developing the Street Medicine Curriculum, our goal is to build a skilled and compassionate community so that together we can ensure that all our neighbors in need can be healthy and housed,” said Dr. Coley M. King, Venice Family Clinic’s director of homeless health care services. “People experiencing homelessness face enormous health challenges and place significant burdens on our health care system. Our challenge is to do everything we can to locate these unsheltered individuals, meet their survival needs and deliver quality health care to each and every person.”
The curriculum provides integrated, evidence-based guidelines for street medicine with the best practices in social care. It details how to approach individuals on the street and deal with the variety of issues they may have, including trauma, substance use disorders and mental illness. The curriculum also describes how health care providers can work with other agencies that provide services to people experiencing homelessness to ensure patients have access to housing, transportation and other services that also have an impact on their health and well-being.
Other health care providers, medical residents, students and teachers who have reviewed the curriculum gave it favorable reviews, with one instructor commenting: “I am so impressed with how thoughtful, thorough and comprehensive this curriculum is, and (I am) excited to share it with students and colleagues that are interested in street medicine.”
Venice Family Clinic is making the Street Medicine Curriculum available online and through printed documents to health care providers, educators and students.
About Venice Family Clinic
Venice Family Clinic is a nonprofit community health center that is a leader in providing comprehensive, high-quality primary health care to 45,000 people in need annually, regardless of their income, insurance or immigration status. Having recently merged with South Bay Family Health Care, the Clinic now serves an area from the Santa Monica Mountains through the South Bay in Los Angeles County. The Clinic has 17 sites located in Venice, Santa Monica, Mar Vista, Inglewood, Culver City, Redondo Beach, Carson, Gardena and Hawthorne, plus two mobile clinics. Its comprehensive care includes mental health services, dental care, street medicine for people experiencing homelessness, 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 VeniceFamilyClinic.org and follow on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.