Partnership between E. San Gabriel Valley Coalition for the Homeless and Azusa Pacific University, School of Nursing. Azusa Pacific University (APU) School of Nursing has partnered with the East San Gabriel Valley Coalition for the Homeless since the fall of 1997 to bring health care to the homeless clients of the Coalitionп’s Winter Shelter Program.
The Coalition operates the Winter Shelter Program within volunteer host churches throughout the E. San Gabriel Valley from December 1 through March 15 every year. An average of 180 persons are sheltered within a single church every night. The faculty and students of the School of Nursing bring health services to the sheltered clients at the church site on a weekly basis, on Thursday evenings from 6:30 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. This weekly health outreach is staffed by 2 to 3 APU School of Nursing faculty, all of whom are Registered Nurses/Nurse Practitioners, along with 10-12 nursing students from both undergraduate and graduate nursing programs. Clients are provided a health assessment, first aid care, and treatment for minor acute health problems.
The nurses also provide referral service for those who have more urgent or complex problems. Emergencies are always sent directly to a local hospital emergency department. Health education and selected preventive care services are also offered, such as immunizations and tuberculosis screening. The Director of the APU Homeless Healthcare Outreach is Connie Brehm PhD, C.FNP, RN who is Professor of Nursing at APU.
Other organizations partner with E. San Gabriel Valley Coalition for the Homeless:
One is the Tzu Chi Foundation who brings a mobile van fully equipped dental chairs, along with a qualified team of licensed dentists to the Winter Shelter at the various church sites. The dental van is customarily at the church-based shelter on Thursday and Friday evenings starting at 6:30 p.m.
The County of Los Angeles Department of Public Health Nursing also partners with the Coalition to assure that public health services are available and accessible to the clients of the Winter Shelter Program.