The Stewart B. McKinney Homeless Assistance Act of 1987 initially authorized the Health Care for the Homeless (HCH) Program. In 1996, Congress combined the HCH Program with Community Health Centers, Migrant Health Centers, and Primary Care in Public Housing under the Consolidated Health Center Program. The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) provided additional resources to expand services and deliver sites.
Although nearly all health centers provide care to vulnerable people in their communities – some of whom may be homeless – some health centers receive only or additional funding under Section 330(h) of the Public Health Service Act to specifically serve individuals experiencing homelessness. View a directory of all HCH-grantees.
Learn more about federal funding for health centers. Visit our Federal Grant Funding page.
In 2021, health centers nationwide served a combined 1.3 million patients experiencing homelessness regardless of whether or not they received special funding.
Resources for Health Centers Serving Unhoused Populations
NACHC supports HCH health centers at both the program and policy levels. Specifically, NACHC has a Health Care for the Homeless Committee, which is composed of 30-35 NACHC members who represent health centers that serve people experiencing homelessness or individuals at risk for homelessness. The Committee advises NACHC’s Board of Directors and staff on issues related to providing care to this population. The Committee serves as a forum to strengthen collaboration among NACHC membership and other organizations that serve people experiencing homelessness.
Additional support is provided by other National Cooperative Agreement partners:
NHCHC works to eliminate homelessness by providing comprehensive T/TA to health centers and look-alikes using over 25 years of experience working with communities to improve delivery of health care for people experiencing homelessness.
The Corporation for Supportive Housing is a HRSA-funded National Training and Technical Assistance Partner (NTTAP) that provides training and education, galvanizes supportive housing solutions with capital funds, provides consultation, and engages in policy reform.
For more information, contact Ted Henson, Director, Health Center Growth and Innovation, at 301-347-0474.