Project Summary

Background: Homelessness is a significant determinant of chronic disease, unfavorable clinical events, and premature mortality. Latino/as are disproportionately represented among the homeless population, but Latino/a homelessness remains understudied and Latino/as experiencing homelessness are rarely included or targeted for research engagement opportunities. Engaging and learning from this population requires culturally relevant frameworks, increased awareness of homelessness in the Latino/a community, and targeted capacity building.

Proposed Solution to the Problem: This project will build research capacity among Latino/a patients/community members who have lived experience of homelessness and will develop a patient-centered outcomes research (PCOR)/comparative clinical effectiveness research (CER) agenda for Latino/a homelessness. The project team will leverage outreach networks at AltaMed Health Services, a Federally Qualified Health Center in Southern California, to engage individuals in an adapted version of PCORI’s Research Fundamentals training program. The training will (i) cover the health impacts of homelessness, racial/ethnic disparities among those that experience homelessness, and the homeless service system; (ii) engage participants in discussions at the intersection of health and homelessness and about their experience with homeless service connection and receipt; (iii) unpack the research process; and (iv) elicit participant perspectives on critical issues in Latino/a homelessness that will serve as the basis for a PCOR/CER agenda. 

Objectives: The aims of the proposed project are to:

  1. Bring together a network of community-based organizations and advocates serving Latino/as experiencing homelessness 
  2. Build the capacity of Latino/a patients/community members to engage in PCOR/CER through a participatory research training focused on homelessness, health, and racial/ethnic disparities
  3. Identify critical issues in Latino/a homelessness to serve as the basis for a PCOR/CER agenda

Activities: The first phase of the project will include partnering with researchers, advocates, and community leaders to develop a culturally informed PCOR/CER capacity building program for Latino/as who have lived experience of homelessness. A total of 32 participants will be trained and will subsequently partner in PCOR/CER opportunities focused on homelessness and health outcomes.

Projected Outcomes and Outputs: Project goals under the PCORI-funded period include:

  1. Creating a network of researchers, advocates, and CBOs serving Latino/as experiencing homelessness
  2. Developing a culturally and linguistically appropriate PCOR/CER training for Latino/as that have lived experience of homelessness 
  3. Training 32 Latino/a patient/community members with lived experience to engage in PCOR/CER projects focused on homelessness
  4. Developing a PCOR/CER agenda focused on homelessness and health issues impacting the Latino/a community 
  5. Creating a  process for future collaboration with external researchers on PCOR/CER projects focused on key issues in homelessness and health

Short-term outcomes during the project period include:

  1. Creating a network of researchers, advocates, and CBOs serving Latino/as experiencing homelessness    
  2. Developing a culturally and linguistically appropriate 10-session PCOR/CER capacity building program focused on homelessness and health for Latino/as that have lived experience of homelessness
  3. Training 32 Latino/a patient/community members that have lived experience of homelessness in PCOR/CER
  4. Developing a PCOR/CER agenda focused on homelessness and health issues impacting the Latino/a community
  5. Creating a process to collaborate with external researchers on PCOR/CER project focused on a key issue in homelessness and health

Medium-term outcomes (0-2 years post-project period) include:

  1. The integration of people that have lived experience of homelessness to AltaMed’s Research Ambassadors network, which will help inform AltaMed’s research priorities, participate in emerging research opportunities, and lead community research efforts
  2. The addition of CBO leadership in homelessness and housing to Altamed’s My Community, My Health Coalition, which will be able to raise critical issues in housing stability occurring within AltaMed’s SELA service area
  3. The development of a PCOR/CER project focused on homelessness and health to be undertaken in collaboration with AltaMed’s Research Ambassadors network
  4. Through dissemination of learnings and products developed under the proposed project, increased awareness of critical issues in Latino/a homelessness and health, and the identification of culturally appropriate and linguistically accessible engagement strategies

Long-term outcomes (3+ years post-project period) include:
In the long-term, this project will increase the representation of Latino/a participants in PCOR/CER focused on homelessness, and lead to additional research focused on the unique needs of this population. AltaMed’s Research Ambassadors network will become a resource for collaborative research projects internal and external to AltaMed that aim to engage Latino/as who have lived experience of homelessness. These efforts will undoubtedly have an impact on local and national efforts to end homelessness and mitigate its effects on health outcomes as Latino/as make up a significant proportion of the population impacted by housing instability.

Patient and Stakeholder Engagement Plan: Researchers, community leaders, and advocates will be recruited through the Homeless Policy Research Institute (HPRI) and AltaMed’s community based partnerships (CBOs). HPRI is a collaborative of over 70 researchers and policy makers working to advance solutions to homelessness through research, policy, and practice. Latino/a participants with lived experience will be recruited through CBO partnerships and patient programs.

Project Information

Gloria Montiel, EdM, PhD
Melissa Chinchilla, PhD, MCP, MSHPM
AltaMed Health Services, Corp.
$250,000

Key Dates

24 months
2022

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Project Status
State State The state where the project originates, or where the primary institution or organization is located. View Glossary
Last updated: January 20, 2023