National Health Care for the Homeless Council
615-226-2292 ext. 229
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604 Gallatin Ave., Ste. 106
Nashville, TN 37206
Organization Details



Grounded in human rights and social justice, the National Health Care for the Homeless Council's mission is to build an equitable, high-quality health care system through training, research, and advocacy in the movement to end homelessness.


The National Health Care for the Homeless Council is a network of more than 10,000 doctors, nurses, social workers, patients, and advocates who share the mission to eliminate homelessness. Since 1986, we have been the leading organization to call for comprehensive health care and secure housing for all. We produce leading research in the field and provide the highest level of training and resources related to care for persons experiencing homelessness. We collaborate with government agencies and private institutions in order to resolve complex problems associated with homelessness. Additionally, we provide support to more than 300 public health centers and Health Care for the Homeless programs in all 50 states.


We provide national, state, and local-level training to health centers and other safety net programs on the unique features of homeless populations and the programs that serve them, including over 300 health centers with homeless-specific funding providing care for over 934,000 homeless patients per year. Program services include: one regional training, virtual training, and one national conference per year, plus site-specific training and technical assistance from peer experts in the field. The Council:

- Maintains a comprehensive website of Health Care for the Homeless information, as well as regular publications.

- Assists 100+ medical respite programs through the provision of technical assistance, development, and distribution of resource materials and development and promotion of formal standards.

- Develops and disseminates analyses of public policies affecting homelessness and health.

- Conducts evidence-based research on issues, including how the social determinants of health disproportionately impact the health outcomes of individuals experiencing homelessness,

- Demonstrate the value and impact of Health Care for the Homeless providers and overall program on community health, on medical respite care's impact on the Triple Aim of health care reform, and on other topics.

- Educates and organizes consumers of homeless health care to conduct community-based research and to gain a greater voice in their own care.

Although we are a national organization, we have an impact within the Middle Tennessee area through our local members, the training and advocacy we provide, and our partnerships with local organizations and providers. One of the Council's major local impacts is through our TennCare Shelter Enrollment Program, through which we help women and children in shelters enroll in TennCare for health care services and access additional services, and help with coordination with local schools. We also bring all Council members to Nashville for meeting, training, and technical assistance in the fall of each year. The Council provides internship opportunities for social work students from the area and assists with other educational opportunities.


The National HCH Council provides training and technical assistance to existing and potential Health Care for the Homeless programs that serve the special health population of individuals experiencing homelessness. A significant portion of our mission depends on policy change and public education through advocacy work that begins with raising the public conscience and awareness of Social Determinants of Health, as they affect housing and risk-factors for homelessness.

CEO Statement

Since our founding in the mid-1980s, the National Health Care for the Homeless Council has worked to address the troubling link between homelessness and health. We have learned that simply providing accessible, high quality health care to people experiencing homelessness is not enough. Much of our work continues to assure that care is available, through training street-level providers in effective techniques, and through advocacy to assure that the health care safety net is strengthened. We know, however, that the safety net is but a reflection of fundamental injustices in our society, and that gravely ill homeless people will be among us until health care and housing are available equitably to all as a matter of right, not as marketplace commodities beyond the reach of the very poor. Our policy priorities are universal health care and increased housing resources. Our commitment is to break the link between poor health and homelessness.

Service Categories

Primary Category: Civil Rights, Social Action, Advocacy  - Alliances & Advocacy 
Secondary Category: Health Care  - Community Health Systems 
Tertiary Category: Mutual & Membership Benefit  - Management & Technical Assistance 

Areas Served

NHCHC's national office is located in Nashville, while services and advocacy are provided across the United States and in Tennessee.