San Diego Shelter Recruits Volunteers to Expand Health Services

Reach Out: Physicians' Initiative to Expand Care to Underserved Americans

From 1994 to 1995, St. Vincent de Paul Village in San Diego, Calif., expanded the services provided by its medical center, which is part of St. Vincent de Paul Village's extensive homeless shelter.

The project was part of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) Reach Out: Physicians' Initiative to Expand Care to Underserved Americans national program.

Key Results:

  • During this project, St. Vincent de Paul Village recruited 255 new volunteer physicians and dentists, including 48 willing to see patients in their offices, and 66 noncredentialed health care volunteers.
  • Patient encounters increased 93 percent—from 13,407 in August 1994 to 25,950 in August 1998. This effect was not due just to caregiver recruitment under these grants, but to a combination of factors including expanded clinical facilities and situating area medical residency programs at St. Vincent de Paul Village.
  • In January 1998, the Peter F. Drucker Foundation of New York extended "special recognition" for nonprofit innovation to St. Vincent de Paul Village for its work.