Access to safe and reliable housing has an enormous influence on a person’s health outcomes and ability to meet their needs. However, structural inequities and discriminatory practices associated with substance use can prevent or deter many people who use drugs from participating in formal housing programs and compound the lack of affordable housing. This month, the BMC team asks Dr. Karim Khan about his experience practicing street medicine and providing care at a local harm reduction housing program. In this episode, you learn about Karim's belief in this model of care for meeting people’s diverse needs; the challenges in and successes of this approach to care; and the multitude of considerations that providers and people navigate when providing and accessing harm reduction housing services.
“I think that public health departments and cities and policy makers are really central to this and really instrumental and can change an approach from basically throwing people in jail and throwing law enforcement at homeless tent encampments to refocusing and trying to get people into treatment, into housing, into health care, and provide folks with their basic needs." --Dr. Karim Khan