Comprehensive Health – Homeless

Comprehensive Health Assessment Team
Homeless (CHAT-H) (714) 834-8498

GOAL: Improve health outcomes for homeless individuals and families in Orange County

CHAT-H Public Health Nurses provide targeted nursing case management for Orange County residents who are in housing crisis. Clients are seen in shelters, soup kitchens, motels, and on the streets. The primary goal is to link clients to health insurance and a health care home. Public Health Nurses are experts in specialized resources to meet socioeconomic and psychosocial needs, in collaboration with community partners. Face to face education, support, linkages, and case management are provided for clients who need assistance managing serious health conditions.

In Orange County, a person earning minimum wage would need to work 141 hours per week to afford a one bedroom apartment.

Families with children are the fastest growing homeless population in Orange County, and CHAT-H prioritizes them, especially if they are living unsheltered (in cars, on the street), in emergency shelters, or are on the verge of being homeless. We also visit families with health needs in motels and interim housing programs. Homeless adults and youth without children are served if they have serious chronic diseases, are unable to manage their health conditions and are experiencing difficulties acquiring or maintaining health insurance and a medical home.

What We Do

Public Health Nurses conduct an in-depth assessment with education on every individual in the family and tailor our services to their individual needs.  Examples:

  • Health status and medical conditions, including blood pressure, head-to-toe evaluation, health insurance, when to see a doctor, medication use, following doctors' recommendations, managing ongoing health conditions, children's development, etc.
  • Preventive health, including immunizations, birth control, nutrition, home safety, smoking, substance abuse, car seats/belts/helmets, infant care, preventing illness, etc.
  • Psychosocial needs, including parenting, mental health, relationships, stress, housing, transportation, food & clothing, etc.

Who We Serve

Public Health Nurses accept referrals on any homeless individual or family that has a health or health access need. Examples:

  • Ongoing medical conditions of all ages, such as diabetes, high blood pressure, asthma, heart disease, cancer, etc.
  • Pregnancy, with or without medical care
  • Children who may be overweight, are not developing normally, have tooth decay, are frequently ill, have ongoing medical conditions, have breastfeeding problems, have no doctor or clinic, etc.
  • We do not provide hands-on nursing care, such as dressing changes, insulin injections, etc., as we are not a licensed Home Health Agency.
  • We are not mental health providers. If a client's problems are exclusively mental health, please refer to a mental health specialist (however, we can help educate about medication use.)

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