HOAP - Homeless Outreach & Advocacy Project: Many years ago Community Healthlink recognized that so many of the homeless in our society also battle mental illness, and often a substance abuse problem. In 1985, the Homeless Outreach & Advocacy Project was established with a commitment to link the region's homeless to a complement of services that would offer:
Screenings, assessments, counseling, health care, rehabilitation, and referral to other support systems. In addition, a physician and registered nurses and nurse practitioners perform medical evaluations at HOAP's primary care clinic, 72 Jaques Ave., Worcester. They visit area shelters to evaluate and refer people for treatment. A psychiatrist and a team of licensed clinicians perform mental health screenings and offer counseling and medications. Case Management staff helps clients to enroll in available health insurance programs, access health care and social security benefits, and resolves other benefits-related issues.
Outreach performed by HOAP staff is done in the community, through a variety of shelters and other emergency care programs. Staff also seeks to establish contact with the homeless at vacant lots, and even along railroad tracks and bridges. Basic services are also available at HOAP's primary care clinic and staff offices.
HOAP also offers services in partnership with other local health care providers such as the Great Brook Valley Health Center and Family Health Center in Worcester.
In addition to its counseling and support services, staff helps manage scattered-site housing in the Worcester area for unaccompanied homeless adults and at-risk families including:
Supportive Housing HIV, Homelink, Shelter + Care, Rental Assistance HIV, and Leasing Assistance/CSPECH