University of Wisconsin–Madison Medical College of Wisconsin

A Health Needs Assessment Among Milwaukee’s Homeless

Joshua Matzke, MD; Bryan Johnston, MD; Thomas Schneider, BS; David Nelson, PhD

WMJ. 2022;121(2):149-152

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Background: This project aims to assess the needs and barriers to care from the people experiencing homelessness in a large Midwestern city from their perspective.

Methods: This survey was advised by those with lived experience of homelessness and those who work in the space. Surveys were disseminated during outreach around the city of Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Data were transcribed, reviewed, and analyzed.

Results: Results indicated that 68% of participants perceive their health as “poor” or “fair.” Fifty-five percent indicated they had primary care, and 64% reported possessing active health care insurance. There were many perceived barriers to care including lack of transportation, money, and inadequate clinic hours.

Conclusions: Survey results indicate that the needs and barriers to care for those experiencing homelessness are broad and complex and should be factored when considering solutions and aiming to provide more equitable care.

Author Affiliations: Medical College of Wisconsin, Milwaukee, Wisconsin (Matzke, Schneider); Department of Family and Community Medicine, Medical College of Wisconsin, Milwaukee, Wisconsin (Johnston, Nelson).
Corresponding Author: Joshua Matzke, 732 S 103 St, West Allis, WI 53214; email
Funding/Support: None declared.
Financial Disclosures: None declared.
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