Homeless Healthcare Collaborative

The UCLA Health Homeless Healthcare Collaborative is a direct-in-community program to offer efficient, equitable and high-quality health care for people experiencing homelessness in Los Angeles.

Our team of doctors, nurses and social workers provides free health care, clothes and hygiene kits, and referrals to housing and social services directly to our unhoused neighbors. We rely on donations to make this possible. 

Homeless Healthcare Collaborative - Patient Care

Unhoused populations have increased in Los Angeles.

Every day 227 people become homeless in L.A. Living on the street can take more than 20 years off one’s life.

People experiencing homelessness are more vulnerable to developing serious medical conditions, and often can’t access care.

People experiencing homelessness suffer higher rates of:

  • Hypertension
  • Diabetes
  • Asthma
  • Tuberculosis
  • Hospitalizations

How you can help

Every dollar raised helps UCLA Health expand our clinical services and clinical capacity for the men, women, and children living on the streets of Los Angeles. Your support of this work will help UCLA Health achieve better health outcomes and help put our neighbors on the path to better health and a stable home.

Giving Levels:

  • $25 provides equipment and supplies for someone with an acute or chronic condition, preventing the need for a hospitalization.
  • $50 equips an unhoused person with a backpack filled with clean clothes, a sleeping mat and a personal hygiene kit.
  • $100 covers life-saving medications for more than a dozen people.
  • $500 pays for a family to have medical checkups, and ensures that they’re connected with housing, employment, nutrition and dental services.
  • $1,000 brings a psychiatrist into the community to treat 10 individuals struggling with mental health conditions.

The Homeless Healthcare Collaborative is positioned to address health needs.

UCLA Health studied more than 15,000 patient records from our emergency departments and current street medicine efforts to determine the greatest health and social needs among patients that were experiencing homelessness. This analysis showed that more than 85% of those visits were due to primary or urgent care conditions that can be prevented or treated in the community. 

To address this need, care teams that include doctors, nurses and social workers offer direct-in-community primary, preventive and urgent medical care, medical screenings, social service referrals and more.

Care includes:

Medical screenings

Medical screenings

Preventive care and vaccinations

Preventive care and vaccinations

Primary care

Primary care

Continuity care for chronic medical conditions

Continuity care for chronic medical conditions

Urgent care

Urgent care

Primary psychiatric care

Primary psychiatric care

Housing and social service referrals

Referrals to housing and social services

The Homeless Healthcare Collaborative vans travel directly to people experiencing homelessness in street, shelter and interim housing sites. This makes accessing health care as convenient as possible to unhoused people.

Homeless Healthcare Collaborative mobile health care vans left back view.

We are providing care in the following service areas:

  • West L.A.
  • South L.A.
  • Convention Center /
    Downtown L.A.
  • North Hollywood
Mobile health care vans service area map.

The primary causes of homelessness include:

  • Increasingly unaffordable housing
  • Inequitable access to health care
  • Stagnant wages
  • Systemic racism

It is a common misconception that drug abuse and mental illness are the primary causes of homelessness. More often, homelessness can lead to physical and mental illness.

Tent graphic.
20% are families with children.

20% are families with children

17% are living with a physical disability.

17% are living with a physical disability

29% have experienced domestic violence.

29% have experienced domestic violence

Our team

Dr. Mary Marfisee headshot

Mary Marfisee, MD

Clinical Programs Director, UCLA Homeless Healthcare Collaborative

Dr. Catherine Weaver headshot.

Catherine Weaver, MD

Administrative Medical Director, UCLA Homeless Healthcare Collaborative

Brian Zunner-Keating headshot

Brian P. Zunner-Keating,

Director, UCLA Homeless Healthcare Collaborative

Executive sponsors

Dr. Medell Briggs-Malonson headshot

Medell Briggs-Malonson, MD, MPH, MSHS

Chief, Health Equity, Diversity and Inclusion for the UCLA Hospital & Clinic System

Dr. Janet Rimicci headshot

Janet Rimicci, RN, MSN

Senior Director, UCLA Santa Monica Medical Center