The One Health Clinic is a place where people experiencing homelessness with companion animals can access free medical and veterinary care at the same place and at the same time. We offer this unique inter-professional program involving students and practitioners from veterinary medicine, human medicine, and social work with a goal of serving the health unity of a person and their pet.
The human-animal bond between people and pets can be so strong that people facing homelessness may forego services or food for themselves to provide care and nutrition for their animal. In some cases, they may be more likely to access services directed at their pet than at themselves.
"If I were still trying to find a new place to live, and it wouldn't let me keep my dog around; if it was between having my dog or staying on the street- it wouldn't even be a decision for me I'd go back to the street in a second. And I feel like 90% of dog owners are like that, unless they have a family or other obligations." - One Health Clinic client
Initial results from the clinic are showing great success. The human healthcare provider saw a 32% increase in new patients accessing healthcare and an 18% return for follow-up care. Since we've been back to full operations after the Covid-19 pandemic adjustments we have a full schedule (sometimes with a waitlist) at each clinic.