Thousand Oaks, Calif. – The socio-economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic have deepened the California housing crisis, and in response, Anthem Blue Cross (Anthem) has launched enhanced efforts and strengthened supports to address homelessness.
In the past year, and since the onset of the pandemic, Anthem has committed new investments and engaged in several partnerships to launch housing-related support programs that help Californians access and maintain safe, stable housing. These programs and supports include construction of homes, access to housing vouchers, distribution of flex funds that support housing affordability and sustainability, outreach to help navigate access to housing resources, and more.
“California leads the nation in homelessness, and COVID-19 has exacerbated the crisis,” said Dr. Barsam Kasravi, President, Anthem Blue Cross CA Medicaid. “Anthem recognizes that social factors, such as access to stable housing, are critical components of integrated healthcare and healthy communities, and that’s why we continue to invest in innovative programs and develop strategic partnerships that support access to the essentials for healthy living.”
Examples of Anthem’s partnerships and housing sustainability initiatives include the following:
- City of Sacramento Scattered Site Shelter Partnership: Anthem funding supports short-term shelter access for individuals transitioning from homelessness. In addition to shelter, the program offers participants whole-person care services, case management and navigation support to connect with resources such as permanent housing.
- National Foundation Recuperative Care in Los Angeles: Partnership with Anthem helps make short-term residential services available to individuals who are homeless and exiting the hospital. In addition to a safe, supportive place where individuals can recover, the care center also offers healthcare, meals, counseling and other supports to achieve permanent housing.
- Pomona Public Housing Authority Health and Housing Pilot: Through this pilot, individuals are awarded HUD housing vouchers. Anthem funding provides wraparound services and supports for these individuals to address physical and behavioral health needs as well as social and environmental needs.
- Tulare HUD Housing Voucher Project: HUD housing vouchers provided to eligible individuals to participate in Health Homes. Health Homes integrate wraparound services such as case management, counseling, transitional care, housing navigation, health education and more.
- Riverside Homeless Shelter Clinic Expansion: Anthem is supporting efforts to rehabilitate and expand a medical clinic at the Hulen Homeless Access Center to ensure individuals who are seeking housing supports also have access to needed healthcare services.
- Kings Tulare Project Homeless Alliance: Anthem is contributing funds that help alleviate costs associated with accessing housing. Funding is used to pay for expenses related to lease applications, rental and utility deposits, essential move-in supplies, as well as paying the arrears required before a new lease or services can be initiated.
- Anthem Housing Navigation Partnership: Anthem is working with Lesar Consulting to develop partnerships with several community-based organization to provide housing navigation and supports for individuals and families who are experiencing housing insecurity.
- Anthem Transitional Supports: Anthem has launched a pilot to assist homeless individuals who are engaged with Anthem’s Health Homes or Case Management Programs by paying for security deposits, utility costs and other needs related to moving into a new home.
“To overcome the homelessness crisis we are currently facing, especially amid the increased challenges posed by COVID-19, it will require a collaborative effort,” said Machael Smith, Executive Director of the Kings/Tulare Homeless Alliance. “Together, we can empower our communities to effectively accomplish more, better, faster, and we are grateful to Anthem for stepping up and demonstrating their commitment to making a positive difference.”
About Anthem Blue Cross
Anthem Blue Cross has been serving the health insurance needs of California residents since 1937. Anthem Blue Cross, together with its branded affiliates, provides health care services to more than 8.2 million health plan members in California, including a broad network of more than 65,000 providers. Offering a full continuum of product and coverage options, Anthem Blue Cross provides customers with unparalleled choice and flexibility in meeting their health plan needs. These options are continually fine-tuned to enhance and ensure access to affordable, quality health care. Anthem, with its strong track record for innovation, focuses on progressive products and services designed to improve the health status of all Californians. Unique offerings available in the individual, small group, large group, senior and Medi-Cal markets include a full range of integrated medical and specialty products. Anthem Blue Cross is the trade name of Blue Cross of California. Anthem Blue Cross and Anthem Blue Cross Life and Health Insurance Company are independent licensees of the Blue Cross Association. To learn more, visit www.anthem.com/ca. Also, follow us on Twitter at https://twitter.com/anthemBC_News or on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/AnthemBlueCrossMediCal.