Our two psychiatrists and general practitioner seek out clients who do not have access to basic medical care and psychiatric treatment and help them address the underlying issues that may cause their homelessness. Weekly, the psychiatrists engage and treat our guests in the Drop-in Center, residents in our winter shelter, and those with whom contact is made by going to them on the street.
Our psychiatrists make referrals to AA, detox, and addiction treatment programs and perform comprehensive medical assessments needed to qualify for S.S.I. benefits. They are available for emergencies and, if necessary, for preparing emergency psychiatric evaluation petitions in the case of dangerous behaviors. Most of the time, the psychiatrists provide crisis intervention and offer the opportunity for treatment and S.S.I assessments because it is the insidious nature of mental illness that individuals are in denial of their illness.
Our general practitioner sees patients in our Drop-In Center and accompanies staff on street outreach one morning a week. She checks blood pressure, listens to people’s heart and lungs, tests blood sugar, manages chronic diabetes or hypertension, dispenses medication or writes prescriptions, makes referrals, and calls an ambulance when needed. She also engages in health counseling aimed at reducing or stopping drinking, smoking, and the use of drugs, as well as addressing nutrition and other self-care priorities.