Our History and Philosophy
From our humble beginnings as a two-exam room clinic in the corner of a crowded day shelter, we have emerged as Houston’s premier provider of homeless health and wellness services.
In the early years, our capacity and the simplicity of our clinical model was such that we most often served as a conduit into larger healthcare systems. Our clinics were all embedded in other homeless service organizations, and we essentially provided episodic, crisis-based care for those utilizing our “host organizations.” We aimed to meet the urgent needs of our patients while helping them transition into larger systems of care.
Effective homeless healthcare requires a unique adaptation of medicine. Especially as providers of homeless-specific care, HHH cannot simply treat disease, we must treat the person in the context of their extreme environmental challenges through appropriately adapted care models. For example, we know that most of our patients present with a mental health need and that waiting for an appointment for weeks or months loses people to care, so we’ve built these services into our medical clinics and outreach program for immediate access to primary and ancillary care. Case management offices are next to exam rooms, behavioral health professionals integrate seamlessly into primary care and Community Health Workers help patients navigate everything from specialty care referrals to securing furnishings for those who are newly housed. For those with histories of chronic homelessness, all of whom also have diagnosed physical and/or serious psychiatric disabilities, on-site care teams within supportive housing assist individuals to stay in housing through physical health maintenance and mental health stability.
Because we exclusively provide homeless-specific care, HHH is uniquely positioned to develop and implement innovative models and community responses to homelessness. Unlike larger institutions that serve homeless patients as part of broader indigent care, we are able to tailor all of our services to effectively target and address the highly complex needs of those without stable housing. As such, organizational leadership looks to the future with a strong commitment to not simply providing a “Band-Aid” but to making a measurable difference for those we serve and to our community as a whole.
Innovative approaches have led the expansion and diversification of our care into a sophisticated, cutting-edge model. We have shifted away from crisis-based intervention into a comprehensive health home that works collaboratively within the local safety-net. Our expansion and leadership role hinges largely on the provision of a board spectrum of coordinated services, including robust integrated behavioral health and our programmatic expansion into supportive housing for those with histories of chronic homelessness and for those who were left homeless post-Harvey. Understanding how to marry healthcare with housing was an important shift in our focus and, as such, we began allocating resources in that direction.
Our care is provided with support such as yours.
Health and housing are inextricably linked. HHH plays an integral role on our community’s response to combating homelessness - through healthcare. 1% of our operations are covered by reimbursement from Medicaid/Medicare. None of our patients are privately insured. Our care is provided at no cost those we serve, as all of our patients live below the poverty line. HHH relies on the generosity and support of our community and our partners to carry out this important mission.