Healthcare and Housing (H2) Systems Integration: Fairfield County

 

Lisa Bahadosingh, Community Liaison for Regional Initiatives, Supportive Housing Works

Imagine trying to navigate an already complex health system when you are experiencing homelessness, bouncing from place to place and struggling with additional challenges such as addiction and mental illness. If you happen to be diagnosed with any number of physical medical conditions (e.g., diabetes, kidney failure, or even a serious infection), experiencing homelessness can present a barrier to receiving the critical care that you need or expose you to situations that compromise your health in detrimental ways. There is a population of people who are unable to access and maintain consistent health care and stable housing who need something different than what has been offered to them in the past. They need systems-level change and providers are starting to listen.

We have seen a growing trend in which housing providers are developing and strengthening our partnerships with health care providers. Opening Doors Fairfield County is excited to be a part of this systems change. Fairfield County was one of nine communities across the country approved for technical assistance from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). This H2 (Healthcare and Housing) Initiative is an incredible opportunity that brings together key stakeholders across Fairfield County from all aspects of social service, healthcare, behavioral health, substance use treatment, and housing providers, as well as advocates and funders from federal, statewide, and local organizations, to improve access to mainstream health care services and stable housing by identifying and eliminating the gaps that exist in our services, treatment, housing, and funding.
Over the course of a two-day Action Planning Session, we strategized around these issues and developed meaningful next steps. With their continued support, we look forward to the beginning phases of implementing our plan and monitoring our progress. It is just another example of how cross-sector collaborations that target some resources and services to our most vulnerable populations can really make a difference for those that we serve.

Interested in learning more about how Connecticut providers are integrating health care and housing to improve patient outcomes, decrease public costs, and relieve pressure on medical, housing, and other social service providers? Join the Partnership for Strong Communities on Thursday, June 25th from 9:00am – 11:00am for the final IForum in the 2015 series, Health Care, Housing, & Homelessness: Integrating Systems. Click here to register.

Click here to learn more about Fairfield County’s H2 Action Planning.

Click here to read previous blogs.

 
 

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