About the Samaritan Homeless Clinic
Homeless people rarely receive the medical care they need. Good Samaritan Hospital (GSH) has long recognized this, and with a $50,000 grant from an anonymous donor, the hospital started the Samaritan Homeless Clinic in 1992 as a partnership with the Combined Health Department and Standard Register. Organized around the idea of caring for the whole person, the Samaritan Homeless Clinic serves several thousand homeless patients in Dayton every year. The clinic is unique in that it provides a wide range of health and wellness services in a one-stop-shop environment.
The Samaritan Homeless Clinic strives to combat the connection between homelessness and poor health that is prevalent in today’s society. According to the Institute of the National Academy of Sciences, homelessness and poor health are correlated in three ways:
- Health problems cause homelessness—Many personal bankruptcies in the United States are a result from health problems, and it’s a short path from bankruptcy to eviction to homelessness. Some health problems are also more prevalent among homeless people than the general population, such as addiction or mental illnesses.
- Homelessness causes health problems—Without a home in which to rest and be sheltered from the elements, many homeless people are exposed to treacherous weather conditions, violence, and communicable diseases. Since well-balanced meals are a luxury they cannot afford, many homeless people are poorly nourished, increasing their chances of both acute and chronic illnesses. The stress of being homeless also can take a toll on people, reducing disease resistance, increasing depression, and enhancing the false promises of relief offered by alcohol and drugs.
- Homelessness complicates efforts to treat health problems—It is difficult for homeless people to receive consistent health care, since health care facilities are oftentimes far away from homeless shelters. Transportation can be an issue for homeless people, since very few have cars and public transportation systems can be difficult to navigate. In addition, many standard treatment plans require resources that are not available to homeless people, like refrigeration for medications or a place to get off their feet.
Source: Health Care for the Homeless: Comprehensive Services to Meet Complex Needs brochure, National Health Care for the Homeless Council.
At the Samaritan Homeless Clinic, we are dedicated to addressing these limitations by offering comprehensive health care for our patients. By serving more than 2,000 homeless people each year, the Samaritan Homeless Clinic is a welcome resource to many people in the greater Dayton area.
A Comprehensive, Multidisciplinary Approach
The Samaritan Homeless Clinic stands out because our care is easily accessible and because we take an integrated approach toward primary and ancillary services. The clinic focuses both on the individual and the community and works to maintain strong relationships with other homeless service providers so patients don’t get lost in the system. Our goal is to benefit the entire community while treating every patient who walks through our doors with dignity, respect, integrity, compassion, and excellence.
The Samaritan Homeless Clinic makes it easy for the Dayton homeless to get quality health care. We provide a menu of services—from preventative care to substance abuse counseling—all in one place. Because our mission is to serve the total well-being of the homeless, we deliver more than the best care; we also aim to help patients get their lives back on track through our many programs and services.
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