Community Board 7 pushes back against clinic expansion at homeless shelter

Posted: Updated:

A health care provider within a Norwood shelter has reportedly taken the first steps to start serving members of the community that don't reside in that shelter. Community Board 7, however, is saying not so fast.

The Jerome Avenue Men's Shelter provides services to the homeless population in Community Board 7. Care For the Homeless is a health care provider within that shelter, that serves the men that live there.

Community Board 7 District Manager Ischia Bravo says Care For the Homeless has its eyes set on expanding its services through a request for an Article 28 designation that would allow them to service non-resident Medicare recipients.

"While this may sound like a great idea, we also have hospitals nearby that do provide the same services… So what we're asking the city and state to do, and our elected officials, is to support us for the request for these nonprofits to substantiate their services with data," Bravo says.

While Bravo says she and her community board support the work done for the residents of the shelter, she is concerned that there will be an oversaturation of clinics, without any data that shows more clinics equal better results.

So Bravo is calling on the state to provide data that shows that an expansion of services actually benefit those in the community before Care For the Homeless is allowed to provide services for more Bronx residents.

"Because we do have a lot of service providers, we want to make sure that in fact they're servicing our most vulnerable population. That may not necessarily mean more clinics. That also means better utilizing the services that are in existence," Bravo says.

In a statement to News 12, Care For the Homeless Executive Director George Nashak says their goal is to:

"… Offer high quality comprehensive, integrated health care to the residents of the shelter and any members of the community who choose to be served by us. We believe strongly that homeless people should have access to this model of care that non-homeless people routinely enjoy."

Community Board 7 plans to send its data request letter to elected officials by the end of the week.

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