Lawrence Community Shelter, Lawrence-Douglas County Public Health partnering for monthly on-site mobile clinics

photo by: Shawn Valverde

The Lawrence Community Shelter, 3655 E. 25th St., is pictured on Thursday, Nov. 9, 2023.

Lawrence-Douglas County Public Health announced Monday that it will soon launch a partnership with the Lawrence Community Shelter to provide on-site basic health services.

According to the Monday afternoon news release from the health department, the LDCPH Mobile Clinic will be deployed to the shelter on a monthly basis so unhoused residents staying at the shelter will have access to the services that can be found regularly at the health department’s clinic at 200 Maine St. LDCPH is calling the monthly event “Wellness Wednesday,” and the first visit is scheduled for Wednesday, Feb. 28.

Along with the health department, a community health worker with Heartland Community Health Center will also be on-site for the monthly events to make referrals and help connect shelter residents with other resources. The health department notes in the release that it’s hopeful the effort will “open the door to future projects and collaborations.”

“Homelessness is a national health crisis,” LCS Executive Director James Chiselom said in the release. “The best way to address a health crisis is to provide health care. This partnership will do just that.”

Per the release, the new project is made possible by Community Development Block Grant funding provided to the City of Lawrence, along with efforts from many Douglas County organizations to ensure those experiencing homelessness are given adequate access to important medical treatment.

The release also notes that the life expectancy for individuals facing homelessness is about 55 years — 17.5 years lower than the general population.

“Unhoused individuals face heightened risks of disease and trauma, which lead to poor health outcomes and resulting significant barriers to both housing and employment,” the release reads. “This initiative will benefit the most vulnerable members of our community and help address existing public health disparities.”


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