Kaiser Permanente Supports COVID-19 Prevention Efforts for People Experiencing Homelessness in San Francisco

South San Francisco, CA  November 16, 2020 Submitted by Matt Skryja, Kaiser Permanente

A $150,000 grant to GLIDE Foundation will help prevent the spread of COVID-19 among those experiencing homelessness and improve conditions for those needing to quarantine and isolate

 

SAN FRANCISCO, Calif., Nov. 16, 2020 – Kaiser Permanente is supporting efforts to prevent the spread of COVID-19 among people experiencing homelessness in San Francisco as a way to improve the overall health of the community.

 

A $150,000 grant to GLIDE Foundation, which has a 50-year legacy of demonstrated success providing services to San Francisco’s most vulnerable communities, will provide support to individuals experiencing homelessness, who are at greater risk for contracting or transmitting the virus.

 

“From the earliest days of the pandemic, GLIDE modified and expanded our integrated services to safely assist and lift up unhoused and extremely-low-income people who have been disproportionally impacted by the public health crisis,” said Karen Hanrahan, president and CEO of GLIDE. “Support from Kaiser Permanente has been vital in sustaining our free COVID-19 testing site, distributing much needed hygiene supplies, expanding our mobile outreach efforts, and helping thousands of individuals and families through a deeply precarious and challenging time.”

 

This grant is one of 14 grants Kaiser Permanente recently awarded to nonprofits and government agencies that serve people experiencing homelessness in Northern California. Kaiser Permanente recognizes that individuals and families experiencing homelessness are at greater risk for COVID-19 because without a stable place to live, it’s nearly impossible to maintain good health.

 

GLIDE currently serves as many as 10,000 clients annually, reaching a diverse cross-section of those experiencing homelessness, low-income and marginalized people. It provides a suite of programs, including daily free meals, housing assistance, COVID-19 screening and testing, HIV/Hep-C outreach and prevention, a drop-in legal clinic, navigation to primary and mental health care, domestic violence counseling and prevention, childcare and afterschool and summer programs for children, and a family resource center.

 

Affordable housing and homelessness are a significant focus for Kaiser Permanente because housing security is crucial for a person’s physical and mental health. Kaiser Permanente has taken significant steps to preserve affordable housing, prevent homelessness, and house vulnerable seniors in our Northern California communities including:

 

  • Since 2019, making impact investments of nearly $35 million to support the purchase of 37 properties in Northern California, ensuring that some 3,300 units of housing in those buildings remains affordable
  • Partnering with the San Francisco Foundation, a trio of nonprofit agencies, and the City of Oakland to launch Keep Oakland Housed – the program provides legal representation, emergency financial help, and supportive services to prevent Oakland residents from losing their housing and has served more than 3,000 households since its launch in 2018
  • Partnering with Bay Area Community Services in 2019 to house 515 seniors who formerly experienced homelessness with a chronic health condition or disability
  • Investing $25 million in Project Homekey, a statewide initiative to turn underutilized hotels and motels across the state into interim and permanent housing

 

“Kaiser Permanente believes stable housing is a key to health and wellness,” said Maria Ansari, MD, physician-in-charge for Kaiser Permanente San Francisco. “We are proud to support GLIDE because it helps ensure our most-vulnerable residents are protected by a strong housing safety net that provides a path to housing and health care during the pandemic.”

About Kaiser Permanente

For 75 years, Kaiser Permanente has been committed to shaping the future of health and health care — and helping our members, patients, and communities experience more healthy years. We are recognized as one of America’s leading health care providers and not-for-profit health plans. Since July 21, 1945, Kaiser Permanente’s mission has been to provide high-quality, affordable health care services and to improve the health of our members and the communities we serve. We currently serve 12.4 million members in eight states and the District of Columbia. Care for members and patients is focused on their total health and guided by their personal Permanente Medical Group physicians, specialists and team of caregivers. Our expert and caring medical teams are empowered and supported by industry-leading technology advances and tools for health promotion, disease prevention, state-of-the-art care delivery and world-class chronic disease management. Kaiser Permanente is dedicated to care innovations, clinical research, health education, and the support of community health. http://about.kaiserpermanente.org

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