Patient stories

Christ House - Healthcare for the Homeless

Christ House opened in December 1985 as the first 24-hour residential medical facility for homeless men and women in the United States. Today, Christ House is still the only facility of its kind in the Washington, DC, metropolitan area where over 6,000 people experience homelessness every day. To the best of our knowledge, there are only 13 stand-alone residential medical facilities for the homeless like Christ House in all of the U.S. and Canada. Since our inception, we have had over 7,000 admissions.

Patients are admitted to Christ House from area hospitals, shelters, clinics, and medical outreach projects. They suffer from a variety of illnesses and injuries including cancer, hypertension and stroke, liver disease, kidney failure, diabetes and related amputations, HIV/AIDS, respiratory disease, major lacerations, fractures, and ulcerations of the skin. Many are malnourished, anemic, depressed, and desperately disconnected from healthy sources of support.

In 2012, Christ House provided health care to 248 homeless individuals and provided 10,618 patient-days of care. In addition to the primary illness(es) for which they were admitted, 81 percent had either HIV, drugs or alcohol addiction, or psychiatric illness, and over 25 percent had three of those diagnoses.

Seventy-seven percent of our patients in 2011 were African American, 66 percent were over the age of 50, and 14 percent were veterans of the armed forces. Over 58 percent had no income and 62 percent had monthly income under $250.

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