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Community Health Advocates working to help patients address issues of homelessness

chas team photoThe care provided to our patients extends well beyond the walls of our health centers and clinical sites. Recognizing the toll that social determinants of health take on a person’s overall well-being, our team is dedicated to tackling root causes like homelessness or the lack of reliable housing. PCHC has team members working actively to address this issue that can create both physical and mental health issues for patients.

Among the ways our Community Health Advocates (CHAs) address homelessness is through our Permanent Supportive Housing program. The goal of the program, a partnership between PCHC, ONE Neighborhood Builders, and Rhode Island Housing, is to support patients in their transition from homelessness, to ensure they stay housed and engaged with their primary care team. CHAs like Dennis Hermida-Gonzalez assist with lease signings, utilities setup, finding furniture, checking in on rent payments, applying for SSI and SNAP, and finding employment and transportation. Currently, they are 12 patients enrolled in the program, three of whom have families and two of which are waiting to move in.

Crossroads Rhode Island, which is home to one of our health clinics, is dedicated to addressing homelessness. As the PCHC Nurse Case Manager assigned to Crossroads, Jasmine Rodriguez must stay connected to individuals who often forgo needed medical care because they are focused on finding a place to live. One recent patient brought a host of medical issues including an untreated mass on their spleen and a history of trauma and drug usage. Jasmine worked to gain the patient’s trust and then directed him to appointments with the oncologist and several specialists. Following each appointment, Jasmine met with the patient to summarize and simplify the treatment plan. The patient is now in a sober house and regularly meets with his medical team. The patient has completed a Hep C treatment program, gained part-time employment, and even purchased a car. With Jasmine’s assistance, the patient is enrolled in SSDI and was recently approved for housing. While Jasmine is still there to help, the patient needs less case management help as he takes control of his life. 

PCHC works with RentReliefRI, a program of RI Housing that provides rental and utility assistance, to address homelessness. Our CHAs assist patients in filling out applications and gathering documentation while educating landlords about the program. Earlier this year, Crystal Rosario, CHA, received a provider referral for a three year old child who is a patient at PCHC. After Crystal met with the patient and her mother, she realized the family was falling behind on their rent. With Crystal’s help over the period of several months, the mother received $9,000 in rental relief which has helped stabilize her housing situation. Another way we assist patients with their legal issues related to housing is through our collaboration with the Rhode Island Center for Justice and Rhode Island Legal Services. This partnership helps prevent eviction while addressing poor housing quality, discrimination, and other issues.

Thank you to all our team members who work to address the issue of homelessness and housing insecurity.

Contact Information

375 Allens Ave. Providence, RI 02905 | Find Clinic
Phone: 401-444-0400 | Contact Us