The UCLA School of Medicine has received $607,975 for a major study of health care and the homeless.
The grant from the U.S. Public Health Service will be used to study 480 homeless adults in two areas of Los Angeles. According to a school official, the study is intended to provide greater understanding of factors that prevent the homeless from seeking health treatment. The study will also help health-care providers determine how best to meet the needs of the growing number of homeless.
"Different health services may be needed by individuals who live in the outdoors, live in shelters or become housed," said Lillian Gelberg, a UCLA assistant professor of family medicine who is the study's principal investigator. "Persons living in outdoor locations tend to have more physical health conditions and a higher rate of drug and alcohol abuse than individuals living in shelters. However, they are often excluded from health services and facilities that could provide primary health care."