ST. PAUL, Minn.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Minnesota Community Care, the state’s largest federally qualified health center, has been selected to staff Ramsey County’s planned quarantine facilities. The County is utilizing nearly $2 million to open two facilities to temporarily quarantine and isolate people experiencing homelessness who have symptoms of COVID-19. The facilities provide sleeping, nursing and shelter staff, security and other necessities including food, clothing, and hygiene products.
“People experiencing homelessness are particularly at risk of COVID-19 infection due to factors such as close residence within the shelter system, lack of access to health insurance, and common underlying medical conditions,” says Helene Freint, the director of Minnesota Community Care’s Health Care for the Homeless program. “It’s important to provide them with the space and care to isolate if they are sick.”
Minnesota Community Care has a long history of delivering health care to Minnesota’s homeless population. The organization has run several clinics located directly in facilities that serve people experiencing homelessness, including its newest clinic, the Downtown Clinic, which held its grand opening in mid-February. The clinic is located within the Catholic Charities St. Paul Opportunity Center and provides primary medical care, behavioral health, preventative and restorative dental services, chiropractic care, optometry services, pharmacy access, and enabling services.
Nearly 8,000 Minnesotans experienced homelessness in 2019 according to an annual count by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD).
“We believe in our mission of providing health care for all,” adds Freint. “Staffing these quarantine facilities allows us to continue to provide that care to some of the most at-risk people in the area.”
About Minnesota Community Care
Minnesota Community Care (MCC) was founded in 1969 with a simple purpose – to meet the health needs of the underserved. As the largest federally qualified health center in the state, MCC provides affordable, high quality, and accessible clinical care and public health services to patients regardless of wealth, health, or social status. MCC serves more than 40,000 patients each year across 18 clinical locations.