THE CCHS PROJECT
AREN'T JUST FORGOTTEN
THEY ARE WILLFULLY IGNORED
WHO ARE THE CCHS?
Recently, we asked 100 homeless people at a feeding project in downtown Tucson, Arizona a simple question: "Would our healthcare system rather serve a housed person or a homeless person?"
100 out of 100 homeless people surveyed -- after they stopped laughing -- answered "housed."
We're sure this sobering fact comes as no surprise to you as well. However, the consequences of this perceived bias are unfortunate and dramatic:
• Because of how the homeless are treated by the healthcare system, they wait until they are very, very sick before they seek help.
• Because they wait so long, there is one, logical place to go when they finally go for care: our already overcrowded emergency departments.
• Because the homeless have a dramatically higher rate of traumatic injuries (frequently from assault), they often need a higher level of care than a housed patient.
• And because homeless persons have a much poorer health status than the housed population, they spend multiple nights in intensive and critical care units at a rate far exceeding the rate of the housed population.
This is a community health care emergency.
Fortunately, there are physicians, nurses, paramedics, EMTs, and others who have dedicated time and effort to become certified in the unique medical needs of the homeless.
We call these medical experts CCHS: Certified Community Health Specialists
WHO ARE THE HOMELESS?
HOMELESS WOMEN AGED 18-44
ARE UP TO 31 TIMES MORE LIKELY TO DIE
THAN HOUSED WOMEN
WITH DRINKING PROBLEMS
HAVE 400 TIMES THE RATE
OF TRAUMATIC HEAD INJURIES
HOMELESS WOMEN & MEN ARE
MORE THAN 7 TIMES MORE LIKELY
TO DIE FROM DRUG ABUSE