A Multidisciplinary Health Care Outreach Team to the Homeless: The 10-year Experience of the Montefiore Care for the Homeless Team

Marcus Plescia, G. Robert Watts, Susan Neibacher, Hal Strelnick

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

7 Scopus citations


For the last ten years the Montefiore Care for the Homeless Team has provided health care to a diverse homeless population of the Bronx, New York. Homeless persons are seen at soup kitchens, family shelters, and a women's assessment shelter. The team includes nurse practitioners, a supervising physician, a psychiatric clinical nurse specialist, a social worker, a health educator, and medical assistants. Yearly descriptions of patient demographics, continuity measures, diagnoses, interventions, and referral patterns are presented over a four-year period. These reveal that an increasing number and diversity of services have been provided by nurse practitioners who address social problems and preventive care in addition to providing direct clinical care for a range of acute and chronic health problems. Providing services at on-site premises has been a strategy to build relationships with shelter and soup kitchen staff, improve patient participation, and foster social support. Close affiliation with a community health center provides a reliable referral resource and readily available physician consultation. A multidisciplinary team approach addresses barriers to health care services for the homeless population and contributes to improved provider retention.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)58-69
Number of pages12
JournalFamily and Community Health
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Jul 1997



  • Community-oriented primary care
  • Homeless persons
  • Multidisciplinary health care team
  • Nurse practitioner
  • Underserved population

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health

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