Street Involved Working Group, Mobile Outreach Street Health Service

Project Profile

Street Involved Working Group, Mobile Outreach Street Health Service

In Canada, people who are homeless experience up to six times the sickness of those who are not, and approximately 37 percent have at least one serious health problem that isn’t being treated.  The situation is no different in the Halifax area and yet unlike other Canadian cities, the Halifax Regional Municipality (HRM) has had no coordinated mechanism to provide primary health care services to this population.  The Street Involved Working Group, which is made up of representatives from approximately twenty government and non-government organizations, identified that there are insufficient primary health care services being delivered to people who are street involved in the HRM area.  As a result, it initiated a project to explore and address the situation.  PMCS worked with the Group from the start to help build the case to support and develop a funding proposal and now with sustaining funding secured, to help transition the Service from a dream to reality.  In 2008, the Mobile Outreach Street Health Service was awarded sustaining funding by the Nova Scotia Department of health and Capital Health.

PMCS worked with the Mobile Outreach Street Health Service to:

  • collaboratively support a community based Steering Committee and help the stakeholders understand the process of applying for program funding;
  • conduct a literature search and key informant interviews with a variety of government and non-government stakeholder organizations in the community, talking with relevant organizations in British Columbia and Ontario, and analyzing over 100 interviews of local people who are street involved or homeless;
  • develop a position paper that explores the need for an alternative approach to primary health care service delivery for people who are street involved or homeless in the HRM area;
  • assist the Street Involved Working Group in developing a model for the delivery of health care to street involved and homeless people in urban HRM;
  • develop a proposal to obtain funding partners, including Capital Health and the Nova Scotia Department of Health, for the proposed model of service delivery;
  • collaboratively help organize a one-day workshop for front line care providers to learn and understand the health needs of people who are street involved or homeless;
  • develop an evaluation framework and communications plan for the Mobile Outreach Street Health Service; and
  • develop a management plan to assist the Service in moving from planning to implementation and the delivery of health care services.