The Homeless Health Initiative is a volunteer outreach program run by The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP) that provides free health and health-related services to women and children living in local emergency housing shelters.
Dedicated volunteers, including doctors, nurses, dentists, social workers and students offer “CHOP Nights,” or free medical clinics, monthly in three West Philadelphia shelters. The Homeless Health Initiative also helps families experiencing homelessness in multiple shelters in and around Philadelphia to access important healthcare services including health insurance, primary care and specialty care.
Educational opportunities for families and staff include a variety of healthcare topics, including parenting and healthy infants, as well as nutrition and fitness classes. The Homeless Health Initiative is also committed to advocacy for families experiencing homelessness on regional, national and international levels.
Since 1988, the Homeless Health Initiative has provided free medical and dental services to children living in homeless shelters. The program has grown significantly to represent a coordinated, multidisciplinary approach to improve the healthcare of children in urban shelters.
Homeless Health Initiative programming is guided by trauma-informed care practices, which recognize the physical and emotional trauma that families experiencing homelessness often face.
Through this work, the Homeless Health Initiative continues its mission to:
For more information about the Homeless Health Initiative, the families we serve and how you can help, please visit:
Reviewed by: Karen Hudson, MSW, LSW
Date: May 2013