What is it about?

We interview and describe the unique stories and viewpoints of those who work to serve people experiencing homelessness in the city of Chicago. These individuals share about their motivations to serve this population, the rewards and challenges in their work, and their perspectives on how the healthcare system treats this population.

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Why is it important?

We distill certain patterns from the responses of these service workers that serve as insights for recruitment strategies into the service workforce as well as contribute to clarifying the healthcare system's gaps and role in addressing the needs of unhoused individuals.


I thoroughly enjoyed working on this project, as it has given me the opportunity to elicit a unique voice in the social and underserved medicine space. We are often familiar with the stereotypes of unhoused individuals that place blame on the individual, and we are educated on the sociological concepts of how the homelessness crisis is fundamentally structural and above the individual. I want to showcase a distinct perspective in this space- that is, the lived experience of those who serve day in and day out in various capacities the eclectic group of individuals who are unhoused and experiencing homelessness.

Cindy Qian
Kaiser Permanente

Read the Original

This page is a summary of: Perspectives of homeless service providers on their work, their clients, and the healthcare system, PLoS ONE, May 2022, PLOS, DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0268765.
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