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Care for the Homeless (Executive Director (Search closed))

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“We meet homeless people where they are.”

Care for the Homeless (“CFH”) is a nonprofit organization that fights homelessness by delivering high-quality and client-centered healthcare, human services and shelter to homeless individuals and families, as well as advocating for policies to ameliorate, prevent and end homelessness.

In 1984, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and Pew Charitable Trusts, together with the U.S. Conference of Mayors, established the National Healthcare for the Homeless Council. A group of New York City homeless service providers and advocates met to respond to the proposal to provide health and social services to homeless people. But bringing services to homeless people was only the first step. Based on their experience, the planners knew that homeless people are often reluctant to accept care, having experienced repeated failures of the social service system, including educational, penal, mental health, and health care institutions, both prior to and during their homelessness. In fact, many homeless people - either fearful or skeptical - actively shun service providers. From its inception, the agency’s philosophy has been to go where people experiencing homelessness congregate.

Today, Care for the Homeless serves the homeless population of New York City at more than 30 sites across Manhattan, the Bronx, Queens, and Brooklyn. CFH strives towards its goal of meeting unmet healthcare needs by extending services into areas where homeless individuals and families congregate: “We meet homeless people where they are.” CFH delivers services through health clinics located at shelters, drop-in centers, and soup kitchens; operates a women’s shelter with healthcare and support services, and runs a mobile health clinic. Care for the Homeless operates as a NY State Department of Health Article 28 Facility and a Federally Qualified Health Center (“FQHC”).

CFH staff includes intensive case managers, clinical social workers, substance use counselors, psychiatrists, health educators, policy analysts, management information specialists, fiscal staff, supervisors, and managers. The medical team, led by a Chief Medical Officer, includes doctors, nurse practitioners, physician assistants, social workers, medical assistants, and health educators.

Services and Programs
• Health Care & Social Services for Homeless Adults and Families: Care for the Homeless provides primary healthcare, including HIV and AIDS related services, diabetes prevention and care, dental care, podiatry, health education, medical case management, Medicaid enrollment, and pediatric care. CFH also provides social services including mental health education and outreach, screenings, substance abuse counseling, psychotherapy, pharmacological and non-pharmacological interventions to stabilize and improve clients presenting for care, aftercare for clients who’ve transitioned from shelter living, referral and follow-up programs, art and activity workshops for homeless parents and their children.
• Susan's Place, A Women’s Shelter: In August 2008, Care for the Homeless opened Susan’s Place, a 180-bed (now a 200-bed) transitional residence with an onsite medical and dental clinic. Susan’s Place is dedicated to serving medically frail and mentally ill homeless women, providing them with healthy meals, clean clothing, recreational activities and a broad range of primary health care and social services. Each client has a case manager who assists them in identifying housing options such as supportive housing, if qualified, or alternatives if not qualified. From the time of their arrival at Susan’s place, the social services staff works toward preparing residents to gain the services and support needed to transition to a more stable and sustainable living arrangement. Susan’s Place gives these women a safe and supportive environment and the services that will help them get and keep permanent housing.
• Policy & Advocacy: Care for the Homeless has a robust policy and advocacy program dedicated to its mission to end homelessness. CFH believes that modern homelessness is primarily the result of poor policy choices and works actively on initiatives that affect people experiencing homelessness and those at risk of homelessness. The policy department develops policy initiatives, advocates on public policy issues, and provides public education. CFH places emphasis on empowering clients in self-advocacy and storytelling.

With an annual operating budget in the $20 million range, 40% of which is from Susan’s Place, CFH employs approximately 120 full-time and 25 part-time staff. To learn more about CFH go to www.careforthehomeless.org.