Article: Survey examines prevelance of legal needs, screening, and services at homeless service sites

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

By Jack Tsai, Darlene Jenkins & Ellen Lawton American Journal of Public Health

The National Health Care for the Homeless Council conducted a study to examine civil legal needs among people experiencing homelessness and the extent to which medical-legal partnerships exist in homeless service sites. Forty-eight homeless service sites across 26 states were surveyed in November 2015 about needs, attitudes, and practices related to civil legal issues, including medical-legal partnerships. More than 90 percent of the homeless service sites reported that their patients experienced at least one civil legal issue, particularly around housing, employment, health insurance, and disability benefits. However, only half of all sites reported screening patients for civil legal issues, and only 10 percent had a medical-legal partnership. The large majority of sites reported interest in receiving training on screening for civil legal issues and developing medical-legal partnerships.