Since we modified the services to our Homeless Health Care program at the start of the Safer at Home order in mid-March, Venice Family Clinic substantially changed our services to respond to COVID-19’s impact on people who experience homelessness. As some of our most vulnerable patients, people who are unhoused face unique challenges when it comes to staying healthy amid a pandemic, including the ability to safely self-isolate.
Dr. Coley King, who leads our Homeless Health Care program and street medicine teams, is grateful for the ability to more quickly find housing for Venice Family Clinic’s patients experiencing homelessness. “It’s really a big deal,” he said, referring to Project Roomkey, a collaborative effort between the state, county and the Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority to secure temporary housing for vulnerable people experiencing homelessness.
“Placing someone in the Project Roomkey system who is 65 years old or older is easy, given their higher risk factors if they were to get COVID-19. But if they’re younger than that, our medical team can share if they have a chronic disease that would make them more vulnerable to COVID-19 – and a good share of our patients under 65 do have a disabling condition that makes them more vulnerable,” King said.
We continue to provide in-person services at our Rose Avenue location, as well as at The People Concern Annenberg Access Center. We have also modified, adjusted, and in some cases, expanded our homeless services in order to respond to the ever-changing circumstances surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic. Here is an update on our services for people experiencing homelessness: