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Delivering Holistic Health Care for the Homeless In North Rhine-Westphalia, the most populous state of Germany, there are more than 20,000 people living without a home. Their lives are a daily struggle of finding accommodation, food, and clothing. With these concerns top of mind, health can fall by the wayside until it is an emergency.

A patient receives free medical care from Diakonie’s mobile clinic as part of the organization’s holistic health services.

Good health is an essential building block to creating a stable and self-sufficient life. Yet, accessing health care can be a very stressful experience for the homeless, particularly for those without health insurance. Losing their connection to the health care system can be a result of many contributing factors, including losing a job, personal trouble, the death of a loved one, or fleeing from a wartorn country. Often, people in this situation feel ashamed of their circumstances and rarely see doctors, even when they are seriously ill. This is where the “Caring for the Homeless” (“gesund.zeit.raum” in German) project seeks to intervene. A partnership between Janssen Germany, the Trust, and Diakonie Dusseldorf (Diakonie), the social welfare organization of the Protestant Church, the project sets out to improve the health care of homeless people and others in need. With its holistic approach, Caring for the Homeless provides medical care, emergency relief, health prevention, and well-being services to homeless people in Dusseldorf, near the Neuss Campus of Janssen Germany.

Photo credit: This page: Diakonie Dusseldorf Opposite page: Janssen-Cilag GmbH

The mobile clinic parks outside of Diakonie’s Shelter in downtown Dusseldorf every Wednesday afternoon to provide free health services to the homeless in a stigmafree environment.

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