UCLA Primary Health Clinic

Imagine sleeping out on the street when you are already shivering from a cold, the flu or worse. Try keeping diabetes or high blood pressure under control with no one to monitor your condition. With few places to turn for help, it's not uncommon for simple medical problems to become life threatening.

Established in 1983, the UCLA Primary Health Clinic at URM is a nurse-managed clinic, licensed by the State of California as a Community Health Center. It is one of only a few full-time clinics in the area devoted to caring for the primary medical needs of the homeless. It is part of the National Health Care for the Homeless Program.

We are Devoted to Caring

Most of our patients have no health insurance or ability to pay for health care services. All services at the center are provided free of charge.

Health care services provided:

  • physical assessments
  • diagnosis and treatment of some acute and chronic illnesses
  • medications
  • immunizations
  • limited diagnostic tests
  • medical counseling and health education
  • referrals to other agencies as needed

Last year the Health Clinic had 6,111 patient visits.

Research shows that:

  • Homeless people tend to have higher rates of heath and mental health problems, and are more likely to be addicted to drugs and alcohol, while facing greater access barriers to needed health and mental health care services.
  • Homeless individuals are less likely to have health insurance or to have regular providers, and often turn to costly emergency rooms for care. In Los Angeles County, 26.2% of all adults (ages 18-64) and 10.3% of all children (ages 1-17) do not have health insurance.
  • The homeless population faces higher rates of chronic illnesses, including diabetes, hypertension, and asthma.
  • Homeless people face obstacles in obtaining medical care related to the lack of medical insurance, lack of knowledge about where to go to receive care, and lack of co-payments for services.

Homelessness makes children sick

Research by the Better Homes Fund shows that homeless children...

...are in fair to poor health twice as often as other children and four times as often as children whose families earn more than $35,000 a year.

...have higher rates of low birth weight and need special care right after birth four times as often as other children.

...have very high rates of acute illness, with half suffering from two or more symptoms during a single month.
...have twice as many ear infections, five times more diarrhea and stomach problems, and six times as many speech and stammering problems.
...are four times more likely to be asthmatic