A Monthly Briefing from Tipping Point
A Monthly Briefing from Tipping Point
Approximately half of all adults experiencing homelessness suffer from mental illness, substance dependency, or a physical disability. Getting support for multiple conditions under any circumstances is challenging, but to navigate health care and service providers without basic shelter is next to impossible. The consequences are literally deadly—one UC Berkeley study found that people age 16-24 experiencing homelessness in San Francisco are 10 times more likely to die of preventable causes than their housed peers. In response, health and housing organizations launched Whole Person Care, a Medi-Cal Waiver pilot, to streamline the experience for patients seeking services. This pilot program's goals are to equip service providers with tools that can be used by all agencies for a coordinated approach.
Early on, Tipping Point helped develop the contract that grew to $36 million for San Francisco to administer the pilot. Whole Person Care is projected to improve health and housing outcomes with reduced rates of emergency department stays, decreased incarceration and encampment days, increased engagement in services, increased coverage of benefits, and more people successfully living in permanent supportive housing.
Please read on to learn more. 
All my best,
CEO + Founder, Tipping Point Community

Snapshot: Whole Person Care

Living without stable housing takes a severe toll on one's health—San Francisco's Department of Public Health and Department of Homelessness and Supportive Housing collectively served a total of nearly 13,700 adults experiencing homelessness during the City’s fiscal year 2017-18. Their combined estimated cost for urgent healthcare services was nearly $161 million and almost half of those costs were attributed to just 9% of that population.
Recognizing that a human-centered approach can improve health outcomes and also decrease costs to the entire system, the City's Department of Public Health, Department of Homelessness and Supportive Housing, and Human Services Agency launched Whole Person Care in 2017. Whole Person Care is developing a universal assessment tool that evaluates and connects people experiencing homelessness with health, housing, and benefits advocacy services appropriate to their needs. It’s based on an idea that there should be “no wrong door” for getting to the right next step.
The City's three lead agencies, along with other agencies and non-profit organizations, will respond in a unified fashion to those deemed the highest shared priority for individualized services based on the findings of the assessment. The shared goal is that 100% of adults experiencing homelessness in San Francisco are assessed for eligibility and treatment options and risk priority and then guided towards available services such as housing, healthcare, and benefit advocacy.

Who's Making It Happen

María X Martínez
“Whole Person Care's integrated data system and universal assessment tools give providers and clients the tools and guidance to ensure the full breadth of needs of San Francisco's most vulnerable are identified.”
María X Martínez brings 30 years of change management and leadership experience in health and social service institutions to her role as Director of Whole Person Care, San Francisco Department of Public Health. She has overseen pioneering innovations in direct service and technology solutions, from building public-private coalitions to integrating systems of care across disciplines for our most vulnerable populations. María now oversees the state-funded pilot to establish Whole Person Care as a comprehensive, seamless, and human-centered interagency system of care that improves health outcomes and supports San Francisco’s goal of making homelessness rare, brief, and one-time.

What We're Reading

How homelessness and race affect healthcare – Tipping Point board member and CEO of Dignity Health Lloyd Dean lays out the consequences of healthcare disparities based on geography and race, and what he and a coalition of public and private sector partners are doing to better serve patients experiencing homelessness—including investment in Sacramento’s Whole Person Care pilot.
California's foster youth struggle in transition to adulthood, report finds - Unstable, unpredictable, and limited services, especially during the critical early years of adulthood, leave many foster youth unstably housed, incarcerated, or dependent on public assistance to make ends meet.

Chronic Homelessness Initiative Overview

There are approximately 2,100 people experiencing chronic homelessness on any given night in San Francisco. Tipping Point’s $100 million pledge marks the single largest private investment to address homelessness in City history.

Tipping Point takes a three-pronged approach to our impact goal. See here for more details. If you are receiving this email as a forward, subscribe here to receive this update monthly.
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