Heroes of the Urban Homeless Crisis: Street Medicine LA

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Monica has been struggling with homelessness in Los Angeles for the past five years. In 2022, she was hospitalized with frostbite and was given anesthesia without being informed that her legs would be amputated. After being discharged, Monica was left to navigate the challenges of living on the streets as an amputee without proper medical care or access to bathroom facilities. Working with the USC Street Medicine team, Monica’s goal is to one day receive prosthetics.

Despite facing the largest homeless crisis in the United States, Brett Feldman and the Keck School of Medicine of USC’s Street Medicine program are committed to providing care and support to individuals like Monica who are living on the streets. Through their efforts, they work to achieve the best possible outcomes for their patients.

Street medicine is the direct delivery of healthcare to people experiencing homelessness in their environment on the streets, in the riverbeds, under bridges, or wherever they reside. Animated by their values of love and solidarity, the street medicine movement has spread throughout California in response to a growing homeless crisis. This video series captures the common philosophy guiding the work and the diversity in practice throughout California. Accompany street medicine teams on their journey to care for the beautiful people they serve living on our streets, who inspire the movement forward.

In this four-part series, Brett Feldman, Director of Keck Street Medicine at the University of Southern California (USC), introduces us to four Street Medicine programs that deliver healthcare in the woods, under the bridges, behind dumpsters, and wherever else people who are experiencing homelessness are living.

In today’s video, Brett goes out with his own team and special guest Dr. Jim Withers, a pioneer in the field of street medicine, having worked to bring medical care to homeless individuals around the world. He is the founder of the Street Medicine Institute, an organization dedicated to providing healthcare to those who are unable to access it through traditional means.

This video series is brought to you by the Invisible People and the California Health Care Foundation to augment street medicine research in California. Please visit https://chcf.org/streetmedicine for more information.

Episode One: Street Medicine Redding: Health Care to Rural Homeless Camps

Episode Two: Street Medicine Oakland: Team-based Homeless Health Care

Episode Three: Street Medicine Bakersfield: Reaching Homeless People through their Pets

About the California Health Care Foundation:

The California Health Care Foundation is dedicated to advancing meaningful, measurable improvements in the way the health care delivery system provides care to the people of California, particularly those with low incomes and those whose needs are not well served by the status quo. We work to ensure that people have access to the care they need, when they need it, at a price they can afford.

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We imagine a world where everyone has a place to call home. Until then, we strive to be the most trusted source for homelessness news, education and advocacy.

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