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Community & Behavioral Health | Recovery | Social Change


Changing the Conversation

Integrating Primary and Behavioral Health Care

11/4/14 01:50 PM | Lunise | Health Care, Homelessness

Eskenazi Health and Horizon House in Indianapolis, Indiana has opened a Health Center for people experiencing homelessness, the first of its kind in the state. This facility now helps hundreds of homeless individuals by offering mental health, primary care, and day care services—all free of charge.

So how is this possible, you ask?

The Center has a budget of $1.2 million and two dozen staff. Horizon House Executive Director Teresa Wessel says they will raise money through the United Way and through private donations.

Does this work?

Yes, and these services are often essential. Some homeless residents may simply need minimal services to help them get back on their feet. Others need a great deal more. Executive Director of the National Health Care for the Homeless Council, John Lozier says, “People experiencing homelessness are far more likely than others to have both mental health and physical health problems. Integrating primary and behavioral health care, as Eskenazi Health is doing in its expanded Horizon House location, is crucial for resolving these complex situations.”

Are comprehensive services part of the solution towards ending homelessness? I believe they are, and hope to see more Health Centers around the country implementing best practices in the struggle to end homelessness.



Image: Indianapolis monument circle by Serge Melki /CC BY 2.0



Written by Lunise