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Homelessness is a Public Health and Healthcare Issue

  • 25 Mar 2022
  • 12:00 PM - 1:00 PM
  • Virtual Meeting


  • A $25.00 donation would be appreciated.

Registration is closed


What's your opinion? 

March 25, 2022

 Virtual Meeting 

12:00 PM CT - 1:00 PM CT  

A confirmation is sent immediately upon registration with the virtual link for the day of the event, if you do not receive it, please contact us at iomcstaff@iomc.org. 

Complimentary - Open to all  

Over the past ten years, there has been much attention on reducing poverty and achieving functional zero in homelessness. Nevertheless, unfortunately, government leaders and others have not supported top providers or best practices to make a difference or meet goals. Chicago is trying to address homelessness and has in many ways over the years.

Suppose the performance metric is the lack of focus and priority standing among policymakers, corporate issues, private allocation of resources, and worsening trends. In that case, we deserve an "F" on both counts stated a recent panelist during a virtual program held by IOMC in February 2022.

As an example, Chicago reduced the number of homeless beds by 10% (from 3300 pre-pandemic to 3,000 now). During the pandemic, there has been a well-documented surge in the mental health, opioid and homeless epidemics, mainly due to the pandemic.

This program will discuss HB3949 and HB5403. When HB 3949 passes (pending). It will elevate homelessness to become an official part of the 'public health' critical infrastructure on par with healthcare and nursing home organizations. The speakers favor public/private funding proportionate to their services and results.

Also, the speakers will discuss HB5403 intended to provide a 5-year demonstration project that expanded the ability of the State of Illinois Medicaid system to cover the cost of community-based behavioral healthcare services. This step would allow for 'aftercare' for many people with mental health disorders. In addition, it would help address their co-existing social determinants of health issues.

There is much to say, and opinions are numerous in Chicago, the State of Illinois, and nationally.

Please join us to learn why these experts feel that homelessness should be a public health and healthcare issue. There will be an opportunity to share your thoughts and opinions with the speakers.

By attending this session you will:

  • Identify why homelessness is not seen as a Public Health & Healthcare Issue
  • Gather an overview of homelessness during COVID, nationally and locally
  • Obtain an update on community view of homelessness in Chicago
  • Relate to case studies that identify current solutions and centers that are working successfully


Moderator: Courtney Avery, MPH, Board Director, Institute of Medicine of Chicago, and Billings Society Fellow

  • Neli Vazquez-Rowland, President and Co-founder, A Safe Haven Foundation, Board Director, Institute of Medicine of Chicago, and Billings Society Fellow
  • Representative La Shawn K. Ford (D) - Previous General Assembly (101st) 8th District
  • Joel Segal, National Campaign Director of the Bring America Home Campaign(National Coalition for the Homeless

Suggested Reading 

IL HB3949   

IL HB5403

News Release

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