Providing adequate health care to the homeless has always been difficult and costly. But the nonprofit Women of Means might have found a way of both improving the care homeless people receive while reducing the expense to hospitals and taxpayers. If the program continues to show results, other health care organizations should use it as a model.
The group focuses on giving elderly, homeless women preventive care outside of the hospital. The program has two goals: to provide the women with an unintimidating forum in which to talk to doctors, and to avoid having these women — many of whom have complex health troubles from years of living on the street — make costly trips to the emergency room.