Addressing Medical-Legal Needs of Formerly Incarcerated People at Risk of Being Homeless



Addressing the Medical-Legal Needs of Formerly Incarcerated People at Risk of Being Homeless

Berkeley, California – January 24, 2020 – The CARESTAR Foundation has given a grant to the McGeorge School of Law in Sacramento, in support of a collaborative network to address needs of formerly incarcerated people experiencing homelessness and who have a mental illness or substance abuse disorder. The McGeorge project team identifies this target group as extremely vulnerable to serious injury or death.

The grant of $420,000 over three years will support the expansion of the McGeorge Homeless Advocacy Project, addressing homeless reentry individuals who may fall through the cracks of medical and legal systems and perpetuate a costly, tragic cycle of recidivism, chronic unsheltered homelessness, emergency room use and high health system costs.

“The CARESTAR grant will allow the McGeorge Legal Clinics to deliver the legal services component of a medical-legal partnership, designed to enable these clients to overcome legal barriers that make it hard for them to find and hold onto jobs and housing. The planning portion of the grant will allow the legal clinics to work with community health, employment, housing, and other service providers to develop a sustainable vision for serving the clients’ needs and for gathering and tracking data on the partnership’s success.”

According to the McGeorge faculty, medical-legal partnerships (MLPs) are a proven model to deal with social determinants that affect these problems. In these partnerships, staff attorneys and law students are paired with community health center personnel.

Melissa Brown, Director of Legal Clinics at McGeorge School of Law, says “The CARESTAR grant will allow the McGeorge Legal Clinics to deliver the legal services component of a medical-legal partnership, designed to enable these clients to overcome legal barriers that make it hard for them to find and hold onto jobs and housing. The planning portion of the grant will allow the legal clinics to work with community health, employment, housing, and other service providers to develop a sustainable vision for serving the clients’ needs and for gathering and tracking data on the

She adds, “A best-case result for our clients will include both long-term jobs and stable housing and a reduction in use of emergency room and other acute care services.”

According to CARESTAR Foundation CEO Tanir Ami, “The partnership planned by the McGeorge School of Law faculty is a good example of highly cross-functional collaboration, and we are excited to see how a replicable and sustainable best practice emerges.”

McGeorge’s acting provost, Michael Hunter Schwartz, adds, “The support from the CARESTAR Foundation and the benefits it will bring to our community and institution go to the heart of a serious problem. We are grateful for the Foundation’s partnership in this project.”

About the CARESTAR Foundation

The CARESTAR Foundation was founded as a result of the sale of CALSTAR (California Shock Trauma Air Rescue) and honors CALSTAR’S legacy and lifesaving work in the field of emergency and trauma care. CARESTAR’s mission is to strengthen connections and foster partnerships in California’s injury prevention, emergency response, and trauma care landscape to improve outcomes for all Californians.

Contact:

Laura Kaufman, Communications Director

The CARESTAR Foundation

925-286-2137 | lkaufman@carestarfoundation.org