We are a group of volunteers made up of doctors, nurses, outreach workers, formerly homeless, and others who bring medical outreach to the unsheltered homeless of New Orleans.
Our development received tremendous help from many other dedicated individuals in the city including those working with NOPD, NOEMS, Unity, LSU, and Tulane.
What is street medicine?
Street medicine brings medical workers to where the unsheltered homeless sleep. It recognizes that those who do not have couches to crash on or shelters to stay in are at higher chances of all vulnerabilities - substance abuse, chronic illness, mental illness, disability and death.1
We work as a stepping stone within the safety net of New Orleans services for these who are difficult to reach. By meeting the unsheltered in their environment, we hope to establish rapport then address both immediate and future health needs through evaluation, treatment, and referral to primary and specialty care.
Street Medicine New Orleans is modeled after the Pittsburgh program that has inspired many others, Operation Safety Net. In addition to OSN, additional information about street medicine can be found on the website of the Street Medicine Institute.
1 e.g. Donley, A.M., Wright, J.D. (2012). Safer Outside: A Qualitative Exploration of Homeless People's Resistance to Homeless Shelters. Journal of Forensic Psychology Practice, 12, 288-306.