Welcome to the Neighborhood...Care Alliance

There is a new building nearing completion in the Central neighborhood next to Cedar High Rise and right down the street from Cuyahoga Community College Metro Campus.  With the dramatic changes in the health care, Care Alliance is positioning itself to be the health care provider to low income people in Cleveland and those living in public housing or those without housing.  The new clinic hosted a preview party this week to show donors the brand new digs. 

I am biased with regard to Care Alliance since I received an award from them in 2014 and we partner on outreach efforts on a daily basis.  I appreciate that they have prioritized dental coverage as critical to the care of low income people.  All of their clinics feature dental services, because most experts believe your oral health is representative of your overall health.  The new clinic sits in the rubble of the Cedar Estates which was demolished in 2014 and will begin reconstruction in the spring.  These new or returning tenants will need a good neighborhood medical clinic. 

It is a beautiful clean facility with the official ribbon cutting in March.  The staff and board welcomed their neighbors, council members and social service providers into this new two story facility.  There were staff from many of the other health care facilities in the community on hand to welcome Care Alliance to the neighborhood.  It is amazing how much the program has grown since it was started in a basement by volunteers at the Federation for Community Planning.  They are expected to have nearly 150 employees and have an outreach team that helps those living outside.  At one time, NEOCH led a protest regarding the bad decisions being made by the organization including the poor management of the women's shelter.  Now, we view Care Alliance as one of our closest partners. 

Welcome to the Central neighborhood...Care Alliance.  You have built a fine facility that the lower income residents of the neighborhood will cherish.  They have set a goal of providing a respectful place to receive care for those without the ability to pay.  The elderly folks next door will be proud to call this new facility their doctor's office. 

Brian Davis

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Homelessness and Early Deaths

Homelessness Can Kill You

Homelessness: A Silent Killer (A research briefing on mortality amongst homeless people) is one of the most frightening reports ever released about those who experience homelessness.  First, it was released in England and the research concerns homeless citizens of the Crown in England.  Amazingly, it was also released on December 21, 2011 which in America is National Homeless Memorial day.  We mark the first day of winter with a candlelight vigil and we remember the people who died after experiencing homelessness. The report finds that on average homeless men lose 30 years of their life after a period of homelessness and homeless women lose 34 years. 

The report finds that a third of the early deaths are as the result of alcohol and drug addiction and the health affects associated with abuse issues. There is a pdf version of the report on the crisis.org website.  Homeless people are nine times as likely to commit suicide then the general public. Deaths as the result of traffic accidents are three times as likely, infections are twice as likely and falls are three times as likely among homeless people over the general population. The final summation of the report is the most frightening.

Being homeless is incredibly difficult both physically and mentally and has significant impacts on people’s health and well being. Ultimately, homelessness kills.

The study finds that four out of five individuals start using one new drug after becoming homeless.   The sleep deprivation, the unstable food situation, and the mental stress of living in shelters and on the streets take a toll on individuals.  I thought of this report after the deaths of Roosevelt Darby and Jesse Smith Jr. from the National Coalition both before their time.  If this report is true, this is a national health epidemic in every country with sizable and visible homeless populations.  Anything that takes 30 years off the life expectancy of a citizen needs to be moved up the priority list of problems to solve.  The report has recommendations for improving the health care system, which is a public system in British Empire.  The second recommendation is to institute a right to shelter, which we would certainly support for the United States.  Only a couple of cities in America have this right including New York (by court order) and Cleveland (by contract as a condition of receiving public money).  This is a health concern that we should address as we would legionnaire disease or Asian bird flu.

Brian

Post reflect the opinion of those who sign the entry