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2004 Media Releases

July 29, 2004
For More Information Contact:
Diane Gonzolas, Citizen Information Center, 441-7831
Steve Beal, Health Department, 441-8042
Captain Joy Citta, Police Department, 441-7751
Janet Coleman, Community Health Endowment, 489-1421

Report Addresses Health Care For Homeless

The Mayor’s Task Force on Health Care for the Homeless today released its report, including seven recommendations for the community to improve health care for homeless people in the community.

“Homeless people face many struggles each day to survive, and health care should not be one of those struggles,” said Mayor Seng. “I am impressed with the work this task force completed in a short period of time. We are fortunate to have citizens and agencies who are committed to the health of every person in Lincoln.”

Mayor Seng thanked the members of the task force and the chairs – Janet Coleman, Community Health Endowment Board of Trustees; Captain Joy Citta, Lincoln Police Department; and Steve Beal, Assistant Director, Lincoln-Lancaster County Health Department.

The seven recommendations are:

  • To create a formalized health care system for the homeless that includes providers, eligibility verification, a co-payment assistance fund, preventive health and other services.
  • To develop a case management network.
  • To expand health outreach and advocacy services.
  • To provide community support and local government assistance in looking at opportunities, including federal funding.
  • To provide cross-training for health care and emergency services providers with homeless services providers.
  • To develop stronger relationships between homeless services providers and the business sector.
  • To encourage health care volunteers.

Mayor Seng appointed the task force last spring and outlined nine discussion questions for the 32 members. Those questions addressed health care accessability and affordability for people who are homeless. The task force then gathered information and held extensive discussions to reach consensus on seven final recommendations.

The recommendations are being provided to health care groups and health and human service funding agencies to assist in the development and implementation of a better health care system for people who are homeless. Last year, the Community Health Endowment (CHE) Board of Trustees decided to dedicate staff support and potential funding to this issue.

“Some of the recommendations are already being addressed,” said Christy Chaves, President of the CHE Board of Trustees. “The Health Endowment is working with BryanLGH Health System and St. Elizabeth Regional Medical Center on a strategy to minimize the amount of emergency room care for health concerns that can be met in a local physician or clinic office. We trust that the task force’s work will be an ongoing catalyst for creating a community health care system that is appropriate and accessible for persons with no place to call home.”

The report of the Health Care for the Homeless Task Force will be available on the City Web site at and the CHE Web site at

Health Care For The Homeless Report

Mayor's Office    Media Releases