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Center For Homeless Connects People to Medical Services

A rundown city street
Joy Bonala
/
SCETV
More than 4,000 people in South Carolina are experiencing homelessness. The Navigation Center is a resource center located in Charleston that connects people to employment, housing, and medical care through telehealth.

South Carolina has one of the highest rates of housing instability in the Country, according to the United States Census Bureau. In addition to that, on July 31 the federal ban on evictions is set to expire. More evictions could result in more people facing homelessness.

“We get over 24 families a month that are homeless and if we really started knocking on the hotel doors we’ll probably find more,” said Marie Roland, CEO of The Navigation Center, a resource center for people experiencing homelessness in Charleston.

Located at 529 Meeting Street, The Navigation Center uses a care-coordination model that is unlike any other programs in the state. It connects people in crisis to housing, employment, and medical care through telehealth services provided by doctors at The Medical University of South Carolina.

“Telehealth is an amazing technology for us,” Roland said. “They can just walk in and meet with MUSC and start their diagnosis. It’s a way for them to start getting back healthy so that they can make the right decisions and the right choices for their next steps.”

Anyone who visits The Navigation Center can access medical care by connecting to a virtual visit with Dr. Cristin Adams, the Medical Director at The Navigation Center, and an Assistant Professor at the MUSC Department of Family Medicine.

Through telehealth, Dr. Adams is able to see patients remotely while she remains at her office at MUSC. On average, about 300 people per year receive medical care at the resource center.

“The equipment allows us to see and hear anything that we would during a patient exam,” Dr. Adams said. “It really kind of recreates the exam experience.”

More than 4,000 people in South Carolina are experiencing homelessness. In the Lowcountry, it is more than 400 and the majority of those people are located in the Charleston area. Dr. Adams said The Navigation Center provides a space that feels like a home for many people who are often stigmatized and marginalized.

“We’re providing this (medical) care at a place where they’ve already developed relationships and they have trust,” Dr. Adams said. “It’s us coming to them in their space as opposed to vice versa.”

More than 4,000 people in South Carolina are experiencing homelessness. In the Lowcountry, it is more than 400 and the majority of those people are located in the Charleston area. Dr. Adams said The Navigation Center provides a space that feels like a home for many people who are often stigmatized and marginalized.

“We’re providing this (medical) care at a place where they’ve already developed relationships and they have trust,” Dr. Adams said. “It’s us coming to them in their space as opposed to vice versa.”