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


Integration of service and advocacy is the hallmark of the National Health Care for the Homeless Council. In addition to informing public policy makers, mainstream health care providers, and the general public about the causes and consequences of homelessness in the United States, we work at the national, state, and local levels to ensure:

- Universal access to health care,.

- Affordable housing regardless of income.

- Livable wages for persons able to work,.

- Public support for persons with disabilities.

- Strong and effective safety net programs until universal solutions are implemented.

Program Areas Served
NHCHC staff works in collaboration with homeless health care projects, academic institutions, and national homeless and health care organizations to generate new information that will improve our understanding of homeless health problems, health care access, delivery systems, and program effectiveness. Through informal consultation, involvement in workgroups, and implementation of specific program evaluation activities, NHCHC serves as a resource to many federal, state, and local agencies.

Program Areas Served
NHCHC offers ongoing training to improve the delivery of health care to people experiencing homelessness. Training opportunities in 2019-2020 have included:

- Medication-Assisted Treatment and Recovery Symposium
- Outcome and Data Recommendations for Medical Respite Programs
- Revisiting PrEP for HIV Prevention
- Lessons Learned from the Updated Consumer Advisory Board Manual
- COVID-19 Town Hall Series and COVID-19 Coffee Chat Series
- Anti-Racism and Consumer Perspectives
- Community Meet-Up on Racism and Oppression

Program Areas Served
The Council researches and disseminates publications that answer frequently asked questions and share best practices on relevant issues. Key publications in 2019-2020 included:

• Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP) for HIV Prevention: Considerations for Individuals Experiencing Homelessness
• Intersections on Homelessness and Human Trafficking: A Case Study on End Slavery Tennessee
• Community Information Exchange: Using Data to Coordinate Care for People Experiencing Homelessness
• The PhotoVoice Research Project (Report)
• How to Become a Trauma Informed Organization
• Case Study Focused on an HCH Health Center's Health Information Technology Successes

Visit our website at to explore various Council publications.
Program Areas Served
The Health Care for the Homeless Clinicians' Network connects providers from many disciplines who are committed to improving the health and quality of life of our homeless neighbors. The Network fosters networking and professional growth among a diverse membership comprised of nurses, physicians, social workers, nurse practitioners, physician assistants, outreach workers, case managers, substance abuse counselors, mental health therapists, dentists, pharmacists, psychologists and students. Drawing from the strengths of nearly 3,000 individuals, the Network provides a forum for its members to share the latest information and research, review and make recommendations about clinical practice, and network with peers.

The Council also has a network of Respite Care Providers and a National Consumer Advisory Board.
Program Areas Served
Launched in July 2020 as a special initiative of the National Health Care for the Homeless Council, the National Institute for Medical Respite Care (NIMRC), is the first-of-its-kind institute to identify best practices, offer expert services, and advance state-of-the-field knowledge in medical respite care (also known as medical recuperative care). Medical respite care programs provide care to patients without homes who are not sick enough to remain in the hospital but are too sick to be on the streets or in a traditional shelter.

To learn more, visit

Program Areas Served

CEO/Executive Director/Board Comments

Some facts about homelessness and health care:

1) It is estimated that 2.3 to 3.5 million people are homeless at some point during an average year. 13.5 million of us have experienced 'literal homelessness' at least once in our lifetimes.

2) 1.2 million American families on waiting lists for subsidized housing are at particular risk of homelessness today. Any crisis could cause them to lose their precarious housing and wind up on the streets.

3) Like 45 million other Americans, people experiencing homelessness typically do not have health insurance; 73% of HCH clients nationally have no health care resources. The federal Medicaid program has provided coverage for many homeless women and children and some disabled men, but Medicaid policy changes are causing loss of health coverage for many people without homes.

4) People experiencing homelessness are particular victims of certain diseases. Approximately one-third have mental illnesses. Perhaps one-half have a current or past drug or alcohol addiction. Communicable diseases, including HIV/AIDS and tuberculosis, ravage the homeless population. Infections of every sort are prominent among homeless people. Trauma resulting from violence and conditions caused by exposure to the elements are common among homeless people.

5) Homeless people also have all the same health problems as people with homes, but at rates three to six times greater than housed people. Without a home, there is no place to recuperate from an illness or to treat an injury, and health problems tend to get far worse before they get better.

6) A large segment of the homeless population is families with children. In a survey of 25 cities, they accounted for 36% of the homeless population.

7) Each year, more than 1.35 million children and youth experience life without a home - living in shelters, vehicles, and parks.

8) One out of seven patients treated by homeless health care projects is a child under age 15.

9) Two out of five Health Care for the Homeless patients are female.