Healthy & Whole

Healthy & Whole is a an extension of HHH’s award winning Jail Inreach Project which seeks to provide trauma-informed, wellness-centered programming aimed at allowing homeless women with a history of sexual exploitation to regain health, hope and independent living.

The program was established as a pilot in 2013 and is a collaboration between Healthcare for the Homeless Houston (HHH) and Angela House, a residential treatment program for women exiting the criminal justice system. Healthy & Whole brings the medical and behavioral health expertise of HHH to Angela House so that programming specific to the health and psychosocial needs of women recovering from all forms of sexual exploitation can be offered. Through the provision of wellness-centered programming, and primary medical and trauma-informed care, the program aims to address the unique needs of those it serves. It is the first program in the nation to combine the expertise of a medical school-affiliated homeless service organization (HHH) and a residential treatment facility. There are six areas of programming: wellness, health education, trauma-specific care, healing through the arts, peer support and employment counseling.

Wellness
Integrated medical care provided in HHH clinics. Women are scheduled for medical appointments within 1-2 days of arrival so that medical needs are addressed immediately upon arrival. General medical, psychiatric, well woman and dental services are provided to the women free of charge from HHH.

Weekly wellness classes that focus on nutrition, smoking cessation and self-care taught by HHH staff

Weekly cooking classes taught by a volunteer professional chef focusing on preparing healthy meals on a budget

At the end of 2012, a Community Building grant from the United Way helped establish a fully-equipped exercise room with weights, an elliptical machine and recumbent bicycle
 
Health Education
Under supervision of HHH staff, medical students from Baylor College of Medicine and University of Texas School of Medicine team-teach “Healthy Women: Informed and Empowered” with modules on mental health and women’s health with the aim of educating women about critical health issues while decreasing apprehension about seeing a healthcare provider.

Pharmacy students from the University of Houston teach a student-created series of classes on medication management

Trauma-Specific Care
A licensed clinical counselor teaches “Seeking Safety,” an evidence-based, psycho-educational program that integrates treatment for trauma/PTSD and addiction. The program focuses on cognitive, behavioral and interpersonal skills to enhance long-term feelings of safety

Healing through the Arts
HHH collaborates with Houston FotoFest to provide the award winning “Literacy through Photography” program, which focuses expression through photography using themes of “self, dreams and community.” This culminates with a gallery exhibition of the women’s work every spring.

Peer Support
Community building activities, such as the the 5K races, communal herb garden and group classes

Quarterly “Lunch with a Graduate” invites a graduate from the program to return to Angela House and speak to the current program participants about her experiences

Employment Counseling
One day per week an employment counselor from Goodwill assists women with job readiness, life skills and employment searches

Financial literacy programming

HHH has partnerships with multiple area-agencies, which offer low-cost or free job training and education programming