Faculty Proceedings, Presentations, Speeches and Lectures

Title

Emergency management and homeless service providers: the need for cross-sector collaboration.

Organization/Association/Group

American Public Health Association 2014 Annual Meeting

Location

New Orleans, LA

Date of original Performance / Presentation

11-17-2014

Abstract

On any given night in the United States, approximately 650,000 individuals are without homes. The rate of homelessness continues to climb, with children and families comprising the most rapidly growing subpopulation of those experiencing homelessness. Alarmingly, those experiencing unstable housing are often the most excluded in emergency management activities, leaving them particularly vulnerable to disasters and emergencies. A myriad of factors compound the ability of the homeless to prepare, respond and recover from disasters, including limited economic and material resources; social exclusion and isolation; and disproportionate rates of disability, illness and addiction. In an effort to better understand the perspectives of the homeless specific to disaster and emergency preparedness, focus groups and interviews were conducted with this population. Qualitative summaries of these face-to-face interactions will be shared. “Surviving the Streets: A Dialogue,” a model program developed by the National Health Care for the Homeless, will also be detailed as an example of interprofessional collaboration of emergency management, public health and homeless service providers. The Model will be reviewed as an illustration of how emergency management and public health officials, alongside persons who are homeless, can address issues of preparedness and response. The “Surviving the Streets” model is unique in that a peer-to-peer paradigm is utilized with the “facilitators” themselves being those who have experienced homelessness. Qualitative data analyses from the Model will be presented along with lessons learned from the sessions. The need for cross-sector interprofessional collaboration is key to meet the needs of some of our most vulnerable citizens.

Disciplines

Medicine and Health Sciences

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