California Health Care and Homelessness Learning Community

A year-long statewide initiative to learn about innovative approaches to improving health services for people experiencing homelessness


With more than 151,000 people living on the streets and in shelters, California’s homeless population is larger than that of any other state. People experiencing homelessness suffer from poorer health, have life expectancies 20 to 30 years shorter than that of the general population, and have less access to needed preventive, primary, and specialty health care services. The high prevalence of chronic physical health conditions, behavioral health needs, and acute and infectious illnesses in this population has only been exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Learning Community

To address the challenges related to meeting the health care needs of people experiencing homelessness, the Center for Health Care Strategies (CHCS), with support from CHCF, is launching the California Health Care and Homelessness Learning Community. This initiative will bring together stakeholders from throughout California to learn from peers and experts across the nation about innovative approaches to improve health services for homeless populations.

Over 12 months, the learning community will:

  • Support a shared platform for participants throughout California to learn from each other, stay current on activities and approaches being tested and implemented, and foster opportunities to support the scale and spread of promising practices.
  • Identify collaboration and information-sharing opportunities at the local, regional, and state level.
  • Educate participants regarding policy levers and opportunities to address the health care needs of those experiencing homelessness under the California Advancing and Innovating Medi-Cal (CalAIM) initiative and other state and national efforts.
  • Connect California stakeholders to relevant innovations and experts elsewhere in the country to help accelerate the spread and uptake of promising approaches.
  • Identify high-priority areas for the field, for policymakers, and for philanthropy to focus on in subsequent years to meaningfully meet the health care needs of this population, in addition to key opportunities and levers for doing so.

CHCS will distill key lessons from the learning community and share emerging best practices with California stakeholders and a broad national audience to inform efforts nationally to improve health care for people experiencing homelessness.

Participants

The initiative will bring together stakeholders from across California to learn about promising policies and approaches for supporting the health care needs of people experiencing homelessness. This includes organizations that provide health care services to this population (provider organizations, community-based organizations, health care systems, county agencies, etc.) or those that financially or programmatically support this work (managed care plans, association or membership groups, etc.).  

Provider Track Managed Care Plan Track
  • Alameda County Health Care for the Homeless
  • California Association of Public Hospitals and Health Systems/California Health Care Safety Net Institute
  • Nevada County Health and Human Services Agency
  • Village Health Center and Regional Task Force on the Homeless
  • California Primary Care Association and the Community Clinic Association of Los Angeles County
  • University of California Davis
  • LA Christian Health Centers
  • Ritter Center and Marin Community Clinics
  • Union Station and the University of Southern California Street Medicine
  • Illumination Foundation
  • LA Centers for Alcohol and Drug Abuse
  • Turning Point of Central California
  • Anthem
  • Blue Shield of California Promise Health Plan
  • CalOptima
  • Health Net
  • Inland Empire Health Plan
  • Kaiser Permanente Southern California
  • LA Care Health Plan and the Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority
  • Molina Healthcare of California
  • San Francisco Health Plan
  • SCAN Health Plan