Homeless Health Services
Hear from our Kim Seeb
A desire to meet the health care needs of Fargo-Moorhead’s homeless population laid the groundwork for what would eventually become Family HealthCare Center. Dr. Ken Covey began working with shelters in Moorhead in 1983 and soon outreach programs extended to the New Life Center and the YWCA. After a series of community meetings and health surveys conducted by Tri-College nursing students, a homeless health clinic opened at the Salvation Army in April, 1990.
Five years later, a formal contract ensured access to Family HealthCare Center's medical, dental, lab and x-ray services. In 1998, the program was renamed Homeless Health Services (HHS) and officially merged with Family HealthCare Center.
Today, HHS cares for over 900 homeless individuals. Roughly two-thirds are between the ages 25 and 49. The greatest percentage is men in their 40’s. Care includes treatment of health problems, physical exams, immunizations, lab tests and x-rays, prescription medications, dental and vision referrals, mental health and substances abuse services (on-site or through referral), and case management support. HHS staff includes nurses, social workers, and a receptionist. During clinic hours, a nurse practitioner, physician assistant, or physician is on site.
HHS is committed to helping people access permanent housing and develop the skills necessary to maintain their housing status. We work closely with Cooper House, which opened in March 2010, to secure housing for the chronically homeless. HHS, in partnership with Sanford Health, provides 20 hours of nursing services on site. We have also partnered with the City of Fargo on a ten-year plan to end homelessness, and taps into resources available through Southeast Human Services, Lakeland Mental Health, Clay and Cass County Social Services, Sanford Health, and housing programs in both Cass and Clay Counties.
We acknowledge and appreciate the support of many area organizations, including the FM Cosmopolitan Club, Flame of Faith Methodist Church and Faith Lutheran Church in West Fargo, the Barry Foundation’s Philanthropy and Youth program, First Lutheran’s Homeless and Hungry program, and St. Mark’s Lutheran church (which also provides clinic space in their lower level, as well as regular donations of clothing and supplies for HHS patients).
Clinic hours are 8:00 am to 12:30 pm Monday through Friday. St. Mark’s Lutheran Church is located at 670 4th Avenue North
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