For Immediate Release: November 29, 2022
LOS ANGELES -- Today, Councilmember Nithya Raman, with support from the Mayor of Los Angeles and the Keck School of Medicine of USC Street Medicine Team, announced the expansion of the Street Medicine program in the City of Los Angeles.
In recent years, the City has begun to invest in and explore solutions to the homelessness crisis that center services and care. One such method that has seen success is deploying specialized street medicine teams to deliver medical services to people experiencing unsheltered homelessness. The City launched its first full-time street medicine team in partnership with the University of Southern California (USC) Keck School of Medicine Street Medicine Program in November 2021.
“In just one year since its launch, the USC Street Medicine Team was able to conduct 1,625 client visits, building the trust and connections it takes to help people experiencing homelessness get the care they need,” said Councilmember Raman. “This team of nimble physicians and nurses provide a level of individualized care that has proven successful at transitioning people off the street and into shelter. By scaling up programs like these, we can reach people across the city who have never been contacted before, people who just want to be seen and cared for.”
The Keck School of Medicine of USC Street Medicine Program delivers full service primary care to people experiencing unsheltered homelessness (PEH), wherever they are, including in encampments in hard-to-reach places. All care is provided on-site, and includes treatment for acute and chronic disease, preventative medicine, treatment for psychiatric conditions, and substance use disorders. Street medicine encompasses both health and social services developed specifically to address the needs of unsheltered PEH, and assists in navigating individuals into housing.
"Street medicine goes to our neighbors experiencing homelessness sleeping on the streets, in the riverbeds, or anywhere in the city, to provide physical and mental healthcare in their environment,” said Brett Feldman, Director and Co-Founder of the Keck School of Medicine of USC Street Medicine Team. “We use street medicine as a vehicle to let the people know we love them, ultimately accompanying them on a journey to a better life, including into housing. With this expansion we will be able to care for over 900 individuals and provide over 4,000 when at full capacity.”
The City currently operates one full-time Street Medicine team in South LA, with that number now set to expand to three full-time teams covering areas in Council Districts 1, 4, 8, 9, 13, and 14.
“We are entering a new era here in LA – one where I hope we jump at every opportunity to implement innovative solutions to solve our homelessness crisis,” said Councilmember Raman.