Integra partners with House of Hope to address homelessness

PROVIDENCE – A new partnership between Providence-based Integra Community Care Network and House of Hope Community Development Corp. in Warwick aims to place more homeless Rhode Islanders into housing.

Organizers of the project, which is based on a 2020 pilot program named the Integra Social Partnerships Innovation Initiative, hope to provide housing for at least 30 people who are enrolled in Medicaid.

Integra is funding the venture with $250,000 from the R.I. Executive Office of Health and Human Services’ Medicaid Accountable Entity program. The health care network receives funding from the office’s Health System Transformation Project through contracts with UnitedHealthcare Inc. and Neighborhood Health Plan of Rhode Island, both of which are Integra’s Medicaid managed care partners.

Pairing a health care system and a community-based group that works to end homelessness will likely be a more effective approach to helping patients who need permanent shelter, said Dr. Joseph Diaz, medical director of Integra’s Medicaid Accountable Entity program.

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“The impact of adverse social determinants of health – which include poverty, racism, homelessness, substance use, interpersonal violence, poor nutrition and many others – are felt throughout Rhode Island communities,” Diaz said. “Meaningfully addressing these issues requires partnerships that extend beyond the clinic walls and draw from the strengths, expertise and strategies of affected communities.”

Integra is made up of Care New England Health System, Rhode Island Primary Care Physicians Corp. and South County Health.

The new program will include “property management, property maintenance, housing location and navigation, direct supports and enhancements to collaborative care for our shared constituencies,” according to a news release from Care New England.

Elizabeth Graham is a PBN contributing writer.