Healthcare and Housing Key to Ending Homelessness

Improving Care in NJ
Depends on Sharing Information

Healthcare and Housing Key to Ending HomelessnessA recent conference in New Jersey helped make the case for the importance of communication and data sharing in caring for and housing the homeless.

NJ Spotlight posted, “Care and Housing for NJ’s Homeless a Challenge” on September 30, 2013.

Ruth Perry, Executive Director, of the Trenton Health Team makes the case for how the Homeless Management Information System (HMIS) should be utilized to share data around where individuals experience homelessness live between housing and health care providers.

It’s important for housing and health-care officials to share data, said Ruth Perry, executive director of the Trenton Health Team. “We’re performing case management for individuals who are homeless, and then housing professionals are also providing case management, but we’re not really talking to one another at the level that we need.”

In Trenton in 2011, 300 individuals experiencing homelessness made 1,500 visits to hospital emergency rooms. The Trenton Health Team tries to coordinate care for high frequency users of emergency care but that can be challenging when individuals do not have a permanent address.

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