Research & Advocacy

The Consortium’s goal is to understand the prevalence and needs of homeless and unstably housed individuals who also have complicated medical and behavioral health needs. Below are a few of the research projects and advocacy work we have initiated or been a part of. 

Hospital Homeless Count

Each year on a night in January, the NYC Department of Homeless Services (DHS) organizes a Homeless Outreach Population Estimate (HOPE) Count of homeless people on the streets and subways. On the same night, the Consortium leads a Hospital Homeless Count that complements the HOPE Count by including emergency departments. Homeless individuals often check into hospitals both for healthcare and shelter, and because they are not on the streets, are not counted by DHS. In 2019, the Consortium saw the highest numbers since performing the Count, identifying 326 unsheltered homeless people in 30 hospitals across NYC.  

Advocacy for Homeless New Yorkers During COVID-19

Physicians, social workers, nurses, nurse practitioners, physician assistants, care managers and other health professionals from hospital systems throughout NYC have observed the unfair toll the COVID-19 crisis is having on the homeless population. Within two days, over 500 signed a letter to city and state leaders expressing concerns and recommendations. We received dozens of comments from people signing the letter.

While we limited signatures on the final letter to non-student frontline health professionals working in or with hospital systems in New York City and the immediate surrounding areas, we wanted to thank the more than 130 individuals who signed and voiced their support including medical and other students, professionals from within and outside New York City, and others. We are deeply grateful for their support and solidarity.

Medical Respite

The Consortium has become a go-to expert on and advocate for medical respite, a recuperative care program for people experiencing homelessness who no longer require hospital-level care, but are too sick to return to a shelter or the street.

Frequent User Initiative

In partnership with the Corporation for Supportive Housing, the Bronx RHIO, several managed care organizations, and the NYC Department of Homeless Services, the Bronx Frequent User Initiative matches hospital utilization and homeless history data in order to identify homeless high utilizers and prioritize them for housing interventions.