Breakthrough Urban Ministries: 2009 – 2010

A generous grant from the Washington Square Health Foundation helps to make “Health Care for Homeless Adults” available at Breakthrough Urban Ministries.  Breakthrough is located on Chicago’s West Side in East Garfield Park where it operates two transitional housing shelters for homeless men and women.  The two shelters serve a total of 700 homeless adults each year, provide 20,000 nights of shelter, serve over 60,000 meals, distribute 10,000 bags of groceries to low-income families, and offer employment training, on-site health care, and addictions counseling to hundreds of homeless adults each year.

It is no secret that life on the streets in Chicago’s sweltering summers and frigid winters is harsh and unusually cruel to the body, and that one of the biggest challenges for this city’s homeless population is access to health care.  Breakthrough’s Health Care for Homeless Adults Program makes onsite health care available to the homeless at no charge.  Both the

Breakthrough Ministry Center and the Breakthrough Joshua Center contain a fully outfitted health clinic where residents of the shelters receive health services absolutely free.  Health care at Breakthrough focuses on breaking down the divide that often exists between mental and primary care and to more holistically address the health needs of homeless adults.  Whether a person has a behavioral or physical health need, Breakthrough’s program is designed to provide access to appropriate service.

Breakthrough is partnered with the Circle Family HealthCare Network, a local health care provider of 30 years, who provides a team of health care professionals to work in Breakthrough clinics.  The organization also employs a fulltime Behavioral Health Coordinator who oversees all of the organization’s health initiatives. All these professionals work together to integrate the care of homeless adults.  Provision of onsite health care grants the homeless men and women who walk through Breakthrough’s doors quick access to the care they need.