March 2: The Homeless in the Inner City: Outreach and Engagement (Faculty: Elliot)

For this day, Scott Auwarter, Assistant Executive Director of Bronxworks, will accompany you on a BronxWorks Van to various destinations throughout the day:

8:30am – Meet at CHCC lobby where BronxWorks Van will pick you up to take you to the Living Room. Please be on time.

9:00 - 10:30 The Living Room (Homeless drop in facility) 890 Garrison Avenue 10474. Elliot will meet up with you at the Living Room and spend the rest of the morning with you.  

10:30 - 11:00  Travel on the Van to the Brook Residence

11:00 - 12:30   The Brook Residence (supportive housing program- mentally ill homeless): 455 E. 148th St.

12:30   Walk back to CHCC for afternoon clinic (this is a 10-15 minute walk)

6:00pm - 8:00pm  Meet at CHCC lobby. The outreach van will pick us up to take us on outreach to the homeless. You will be joined by Elliot and Alda. Dress warmly.

Scott Auwarter, Assistant Executive Director, BronxWorks (718-293-0727 x103, C: 646-206-3641,



 On Friday morning, March 2nd, you will visit 2 programs for the homeless. 

The Living Room, a special program that gives the homeless easy entrée to the shelter system with no strings attached.

The Brook Residence provides supportive housing for formerly homeless, some with mental illness or HIV.                                                                                      

And, from 6-8pm we will be going out with the BronxWorks van to outreach to the homeless. Elliot DeHaan and Alda Osianga will be with you for outreach.
BronxWorks (formerly known as Citizens Advice Bureau), a CBO that provides multiple services for the Bronx Homeless, has generously offered to provide a van to all your destinations today.  Your tour guides will be: Scott Auwater, Assistant Executive Director of BronxWorks, and  Elliot DeHaan, who provides medical services for the residents of the Brook Residence

Scott and Elliot will help you to understand the efforts to help the homeless, and how The Living Room and The Brook Residence fit in the range of NYC services. You will see how homeless individuals enter and traverse the shelter system, and get the support they need to move on to stable housing and lives in the community.  They will also tell us about their new "street to home" initiative, a partnership between Bronxworks, government agencies, human service organizations, and health care institutions that helps the formerly homeless transition to permanent housing (Ask Scott to discuss the rationale behind the "housing first model"). 

The Living Room, in Hunt’s Point, is a drop-in center for the homeless.The staff will give us a first hand look at The Living Room, a unique entry level facility where the homeless can walk-in, get food, clean up (showers, washing machines), receive social and medical services, and stay overnight in chairs.  By design, this facility has no beds, but only chairs, because it is a “living room,” not a “bedroom.”  The hope is to reach out to homeless individuals who are difficult to engage, and then facilitate their transition to more comprehensive services.

The Brook Residence, located 10-15 minutes from clinic, is a six-story residence that provides permanent housing to chronically homeless individuals, including those with mental illness, low-income workers, and people with HIV/AIDS. The Brook Residence was developed by Common Ground, an organization whose mission is to end homelessness. Common Ground builds and operates supportive housing (housing with onsite social services) that is available for homeless and low-income individuals. Bronxworks provides social services at the Brook, and Montefiore (via Elliot) provides medical services. Elliot will take you on a tour of the Brook and tell you about the innovative, interdisciplinary ways the Brook team has undertaken to provide comprehensive health care for its residents. 

Some questions I would like you to think about and ask the staff and patients at your visits to these programs outreaching to the homeless.

  1. What does it mean to be homeless?  In addition to lack of shelter/domicile, what other problems do the homeless face?
  2. What is unstable housing?  How is this different than literal homelessness?  How prevalent is unstable housing?  Are these different populations exposed to different types of health risks?
  3. What are the adverse health outcomes associated with homelessness? To what extent are these due to confounders such as drug us or mental illness?  What possible mechanisms could determine a direct relationship?
  4. What housing programs and services are available for homeless individuals? Do these differ from those available to people temporarily housed by concerned families or friends vs homeless individuals living on the streets vs people living in shelters?
  5. Do different groups get different services:         
    1. Homeless single men?
    2. Homeless women with children?
    3. Homeless people with HIV?
    4. Homeless patients with mental illness?
  6. Do you ask your patients about their housing status?  What resources are available to individuals with housing problems? Besides making referrals, how else could you advocate for patients?
  7. Where do the homeless get their medical care? How can this utilization be changed?  What are some effective methods for targeting this population?
Angela Jeffers,
Feb 9, 2011, 10:40 AM
Angela Jeffers,
Feb 9, 2011, 10:40 AM
Angela Jeffers,
Feb 9, 2011, 10:40 AM
Angela Jeffers,
Feb 9, 2011, 10:40 AM
Angela Jeffers,
Feb 14, 2012, 10:13 AM