Health care and homelessness

Community Solutions and the Institute for Healthcare Improvement are leading an initiative exploring how health care systems can help communities end chronic homelessness.

We’re seeking to find the most meaningful contributions health care can make toward ending chronic homelessness

Community Solutions and the Institute for Healthcare Improvement (IHI) are working together to deliver a two-year pilot seeking to answer this question and lay the groundwork to spread and scale solutions nationally.

We’ve convened a group of five pilot sites that bring together the local health system and the cross-sector stakeholders actively working to end chronic homelessness in that community.

How health care can help create structural change

We’ve identified five “pillar” areas that together we believe will lead to a comprehensive, meaningful role for a health system in their community.



Prevent the inflow of individuals into chronic homelessness



Build sustained belief in and commitment to ending homelessness at the population level



Establish shared language and mechanisms for collaboration, measurement and governance


Housing placements

Increase housing placements and retention rates for
those experiencing chronic homelessness



Establish and build upon financial mechanisms aligned to reducing and ending chronic homelessness

Bakersfield reached functional zero for chronic homelessness
Bakersfield, Kern County, California 

Participating pilot sites and health care partners

The health system in each community will focus on improving its role as an anchor institution to affect population-level outcomes for this target population, including:
• reductions in homelessness
• lower health care costs
• improved population health

  • Bakersfield/Kern County, California – Kaiser Permanente, CommonSpirit Health 
  • Washington County, Oregon – Kaiser Permanente, Providence Health System
  • Sacramento County, California – Kaiser Permanente, CommonSpirit Health, University of California – Davis Health, Sutter Health
  • Anchorage, Alaska – Providence St. Joseph Health
  • Chattanooga, Tennessee – CommonSpirit Health

These pilot sites are currently involved in the Built for Zero initiative and are focused on using quality, real-time, person-specific data on all single adults experiencing homelessness to track their progress towards eliminating chronic homelessness and building racially equitable systems.  

Learn more