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School & Program Updates

School & Program Updates

Minnesota: MHA Program Advising Community Project Building “Tiny Homes” for the Homeless

Two groups have been gathering in Minneapolis to make a bold idea a reality — create an intentional community of “tiny homes” to provide stability and better health for people who do not have a place to live. Street Voices of Change, an organization of those experiencing homelessness, and Upstream Health Innovations, a non-profit dedicated to removing barriers to health, are calling their initiative Envision Community.

Poor mental and physical health can drive people into homelessness. Being homeless can lead to or exacerbate health issues, and, without stable housing, it’s extraordinarily difficult to get better. It’s a profoundly complex public health issue. The majority of care for people who are homeless is delivered via emergency department visits and hospitalizations.

Envision Community will bring together a diverse group of people, including those who have never experienced homelessness, to discover innovative approaches to protecting the health of people who do not have homes.

But several hurdles remain before Envision Community can get up and running, including how to financially support this groundbreaking effort, how to set residence criteria, and how to measure outcomes and success. Exploring those questions was an ideal case study for students in the Master of Healthcare Administration (MHA) program at the University of Minnesota School of Public Health, who tackle real-life issues related to health care using the program’s intensive problem-solving method.


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