UB HEALS (Homeless health, Education, Awareness, and Leadership in Street Medicine) is a student run street medicine outreach initiative of the Jacobs School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences at the University at Buffalo. Our medical street outreach team aims to engage with individuals experiencing homelessness in Buffalo and reconnecting them to the health care system and improving their health outcomes.
ABOUT UB HEALS:
We are out in the community every Tuesday and Thursday. Our team travels to the bus station, various shelters, and/or walks the streets with healthcare and outreach professionals equipped with supplies, basic medications, clothing and other necessities for living. We strive to care for acute needs, connect patients with long-term care, and build trusting relationships with a historically underserved population.
To increase access to health care among the homeless population of Buffalo, NY by directly improving their overall health and influencing medical education. As a student-run project, we seek to address the unique medical and psychosocial needs of the homeless population while providing a valuable educational experience for medical students.
WHAT WE'VE BEEN UP TO:
A major challenge that our organization faced in the last year was finding a way to deliver care and support to those in our community in need throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. In previous years, our 60 Days to HEAL crowdfunding campaign raised an astounding $19,201 thanks to the support of the Buffalo community. While we were unable to provide medical care during the pandemic, we used the donations from our supporters to provide basic hygiene kits to those who needed them. Since we have been back on rounds providing street medicine, we have continued to incorporate these kits in our general practice. UB HEALS has also been able to offer special initiatives, including:
- Hepatitis A, COVID-19, and influenza vaccinations through our partnership with the Erie County Department of Health, which will help reduce the spread of a potentially fatal disease through Buffalo's homeless population.
- Foot care clinic. This initiative allowed us to provide foot care packages to individuals experiencing homelessness in the Buffalo community, promoting foot hygiene and improving the comfort of our patients.
- Providing new boots, socks, and winter gear purchased from previous fundraising efforts with the intent of decreasing exposure to Buffalo's harsh weather patterns.
WHY WE NEED YOUR HELP:
In an effort to maintain our current efforts and continue expanding our impact in the city of Buffalo, we are looking to the City of Good Neighbors to help us support our homeless neighbors. Our primary goal is to ensure that UB HEALS has a sustained presence for many years to come. We need your help to fund our upcoming initiatives that will improve the well-being of our patients. Flu vaccine clinics are important in preventing serious illness this winter, and for just $38, you can help us keep someone safe. Our medical supplies and pharmacy are our major recurring cost, so your donation could be used to care for a wound or refill an important medication. Looking forward, we are working on helping our neighbors with transportation to ensure their medical needs are met. We appreciate any contribution to help us reach these goals!
SINCE OUR INCEPTION IN SPRING 2016:
UB HEALS has conducted approximately 450 rounds and more than 3000 patient encounters. These encounters include services such as:
- Assessment/Treatment of Acute Complaints
- Medication reconciliation and other patient education
- Distribution of clothing, toiletries, and other necessities.
- Linkage to primary care, behavioral health, and social services
To learn more visit, our website at https://www.ubheals.org/
UB HEALS IN THE NEWS
Spectrum News: UB Holds Foot Clinic for Homeless on Buffalo's West Side
UB Seen: UB HEALS Clinic UB holds foot clinic for homeless on Buffalo's west side
American Medical Association: Moving Medicine: Making house calls to those without homes
SUNY Big Ideas: Students Help The Homeless Stay Healthy On The Streets of Buffalo
Buffalo's 2019 30 Under 30: UB HEALS founder, Moudi Hubeishy, is a winner of 30 Under 30
UB News: UB HEALS wins one grant, seeks another
WKBW: University at Buffalo students help the homeless
The Buffalo News: UB med students make their rounds on Buffalo streets, shelters
WGRZ: UB HEALS helps Buffalo's homeless population
WNY Papers: Next Generation United picks UB HEALS as top winner in Pitch 10 Competition
WIVB: UB Medical students take different approach to patient care
Spectrum: UB Med students Take Health Care to the Streets
American Medical Association: Members Move Medicine: Helping patients wherever they are
HOMELESSNESS IN ERIE COUNTY
- Approximately 4897 individuals experienced homelessness last year
- 54% of all homeless people were Black
- 37% of all homeless people were White
- 14% of all homeless people were Hispanic or Latino
- Of those reporting disabling conditions, mental illness was a struggle for 75%
- 30% reported alcohol abuse
- 38% reported struggling with drug abuse
- 60% were male
- most common ages of those experiencing homelessness are 25-34 and 45-54
REASONS FOR HOMELESSNESS
- Loss of Job/Income (includes public benefits) 11.5%
- Household Disputes (not DV) 16.8%
- Substance Abuse 5.8%
- Mental Health 5.4%
- Court eviction by landlord 5.3%
- Eviction by primary tenant 11.3%
- Domestic Violence 10%
- Ask to leave by landlord 6.9%
- Release From Institution 9.9%
- Relocation from out of the Area 6.5%