Honoring its tradition of outreach to those in need Providence St. Joseph Health partners to ease Southern California’s homeless crisis

June 15, 2018

Veterans who have fallen on hard times, the working poor and those suffering mental illness all find themselves among the epidemic of homelessness in Southern California.

These are truly the poor and vulnerable Providence St. Joseph Health (PSJH) is called to help. As part of its community benefit programs, this not-for-profit faith-based health care system partners with experts to help those who are homeless find shelter, health care and resources.

In 2017, PSJH Southern California invested more than $536 million in community benefits and other outreach to help those in need, from the northern San Fernando Valley to the Orange County coast.

“Working with partners, we assessed our communities and identified the greatest unmet needs across this region,” said Erik G. Wexler, chief executive, PSJH Southern California. “The results have guided us in creating a wide range of programs and services, including help for those who have no place to call home.”

Among the outreach to those who are homeless in Orange and Los Angeles counties, PSJH efforts include:

  • Hospital social workers collaborate to link patients to housing, services, doctors
  • Access to Care links emergency department patients to primary care and specialists
  • Participates in a collaborative that is seeking solutions in Orange County
  • Participates in a pilot Medi-Cal program to develop a coordinated health care system
  • First to connect to a shared data platform serving the homeless in Orange County
  • Partners in the Street to Home to provide services for frequent ER patients
  • Funded a partnership to provide transitional housing be more specific if possible
  • Member of Hospital Subcommittee on Homelessness to increase placement in shelters

Last year, Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti declared his city’s homeless situation a state of emergency. And in the past several months, communities in Orange County have sought humane ways to provide those who are homeless with basic services. PSJH believes these goals can be met when the community works together.

“Together with community-focused organizations and innovative partners, Providence St. Joseph Health Southern California reaches beyond our hospital walls to ensure care for those living on the margins,” Wexler said. “It’s vitally important that businesses, community groups, civic leaders and others pool their expertise because together we can develop lasting solutions.”

PSJH Southern California is composed of 13 award-winning hospitals – Providence Holy Cross, Providence Tarzana and Providence Saint Joseph medical centers in the San Fernando Valley; Providence Saint John’s Health Center, Santa Monica; Providence Little Company of Mary Medical Centers in San Pedro and Torrance; St. Joseph Hospital in Orange; St. Jude Medical Center, Fullerton; Mission Hospitals in Mission Viejo; Mission Hospital Laguna Beach; St. Mary Medical Center, Apple Valley; and affiliate Hoag Memorial Hospital Presbyterian with hospitals in Newport Beach and Irvine.

As a not-for-profit health care system, annual proceeds are invested in community benefit programs that serve vulnerable populations, including the poor, school children in low-income neighborhoods, the elderly, immigrants and the chronically ill.