As of 2020, of the 66,000 people experiencing homelessness in the LA area, over 46,000 are living on the street. The UCLA Student Run Homeless Clinics is joining with the LA City Department of Sanitation (LASAN) to provide free medical care and showers to people who are homeless.
Last year, LA Mayor Eric Garcetti and LASAN launched a new strategy to overhaul street cleanup and more effectively deliver much-needed hygiene services to homeless Angelenos by rolling out the Cleaning and Rapid Engagement (CARE) Program. A big component of this program is the Mobile Hygiene Unit (MHU), a free shower van that provides dignified cleanliness to anyone who wants it. As soon as the CARE MHU program spread out among street sites and encampments, it became evident that these unhoused neighbors have a multitude of medical problems that are too often neglected and complicated by difficulties in access to care.
ABOUT OUR PROGRAM
The UCLA Student Run Homeless Clinics works side-by-side with the CARE program on daily outreaches to bring unhindered, essential medical care to the streets in close collaboration with the MHU shower vans. On average, the program serves 400 shower guests weekly and as many as 2,000 patients per year. We provide on-site rapid medical assessments, urgent care, wound care, mental health screenings, vaccinations, medications, and chronic disease management while guiding them to reliable community clinics for the further care. Our goal is to assign a primary care team consisting of a physician, EMT, medical students and resident volunteers to each of the MHU vans on their daily shower runs on the West side and throughout the LA area.
A large proportion of homeless street dwellers reside in the area surrounding UCLA. While the wait for transition to permanent housing can be a lengthy, many UCLA staff and students wish that there was a way to help our unhoused neighbors, many of whom exhibit unattended medical problems and lack hygiene. Our goal is to provide these combined services to our West-side neighbors and beyond.
Our services are offered at no cost to these individuals. A gift of any size makes a huge difference, allowing us to continue and expand our efforts. Thank you for your support!
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