Our Senior Director of Digital Products Nader Hawit is shining a light on the critical issue of homelessness this quarter. Discover how MTM and our partners are addressing the Social Determinants of Health (SDOH) to support our nation’s unhoused population. From identifying those in need using advanced data analytics to providing essential transportation and healthcare services, we’re committed to making a difference and creating a positive impact.

Social Determinants of Health: The Impact of Resources on the Unhoused Population

Each quarter, our Senior Director of Digital Products Nader Hawit explores various topics in the realm of Social Determinants of Health (SDOH), focusing on how companies like MTM can positively address their impact. This quarter, Nader focuses on our nation’s unhoused population—a population that is significantly impacted by multiple SDOH. Let’s examine how MTM and our partners can play a crucial role in addressing the social determinants associated with homelessness.

Identifying the Unhoused Population Demographic

Identifying homelessness involves various methodologies, including point-in-time counts, surveys, and data from shelters and social services. Point-in-time counts offer a snapshot of the homeless population on a specific night, while the Homeless Management Information System (HMIS) tracks service use over time. Surveys like the American Community Survey (ACS) provide broader demographic data to help understand and organize these groups. Once identified, we can pull from the data to see how we can address the social determinants of health that revolve around homelessness and unhoused populations.

Homelessness by the Numbers

In 2020, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) reported that more than 580,000 individuals experience homelessness on a single night. This figure fluctuates due to economic conditions, housing availability, and policy changes, highlighting the need for tailored interventions. Data analytics can flag profiles based on social service usage patterns and emergency room visits. Implementing a coordinated entry system ensures that individuals experiencing homelessness are matched with appropriate services. Effective communication between healthcare providers, social workers, and state agencies is facilitated through electronic health records and dedicated liaison roles.

Understanding Homelessness and Unhoused Populations

Engaging the community can be a key factor in helping people who are experiencing homelessness. Community engagement involves raising awareness and fostering empathy through public education campaigns and partnerships with local media.

Understanding homelessness includes acknowledging behavioral health issues such as mental illness and substance abuse. Outreach programs that offer on-site mental health and addiction services can bridge the gap for those unable to seek help independently. Homeless-conscious communities are actively seeking innovative solutions to address the complex issue of homelessness. These initiatives include housing-first programs that prioritize stable housing as the initial step in helping individuals rebuild their lives, as well as job training and placement services that empower people to achieve financial independence. Beyond these, many communities are also implementing health clinics, peer support networks, and educational workshops to further aid those in need. This is where MTM comes in. As communities create events and tools to support this demographic, transportation is key to get individuals to said events, health clinics, community job trainings, and more.

MTM: Connecting Unhoused Populations to the Resources They Need

Connecting individuals experiencing homelessness with resources like case workers, educational programs, healthcare providers, and Medicaid coverage is essential. Drop-in centers and mobile outreach units can facilitate access to these services. Programs like Health Care for the Homeless (HCH) provide integrated care, addressing both physical and mental health needs.

MTM’s partnerships involve collaboration between healthcare providers, Medicaid managed care organizations (MCOs), and state agencies to offer comprehensive care, including transportation and mobile integrated health (MIH) support. Many Medicaid recipients struggling with homelessness are still eligible for support like non-emergency medical transportation (NEMT). MCOs and states are increasingly dedicating resources to address homelessness. MTM continues to partner with these services to ensure that homeless individuals receive continuous and coordinated care, including medication management and rides to healthcare.

Providing reliable transportation to shelters and healthcare facilities is the name of the game for MTM. MTM aims to reduce healthcare disparities by ensuring vulnerable populations, including the unhoused, have access to medications and healthcare services. This approach helps improve health outcomes and reduce hospital readmissions, aligning with the goal of integrating healthcare and social services to address homelessness.

Addressing homelessness requires identifying and documenting the homeless population, engaging the community, and leveraging partnerships to tackle social determinants of health. By raising awareness, connecting individuals to resources, and ensuring coordinated care, we can significantly mitigate homelessness and improve the lives of those affected by lack of housing.


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