Circle the City is partnering with HonorHealth John C. Lincoln Medical Center to address the healthcare needs of the homeless population in Sunnyslope, a north Phoenix community.  An estimated 25.3 percent of the population in Sunnyslope lives below the poverty threshold, including hundreds of individuals who live unsheltered on the streets. 

“Circle the City’s vision is to have a healthy community without homelessness and to do that we must meet individuals where they are,” said Circle the City Development Director Kimberly Hall. “This partnership with HonorHealth gives us that opportunity.”  

The partnership, called “Circle the City in Sunnyslope,” will:

• Embed a Circle the City homeless-specialty Health Navigator in the John C. Lincoln Emergency Department.

• Mobilize a dedicated, integrated services team consisting of a medical provider, registered nurse, medical coordinator, and a licensed clinical social worker, to provide primary care and support services to individuals experiencing homelessness in the Sunnyslope area. This will be accomplished through a mobile medical unit and street outreach.

• The mobile medical unit will provide illness and injury treatment, chronic disease management, flu shots, and a behavioral health consultant.

• Engage additional homeless service providers, neighborhood associations, business coalitions and social service agencies to address the complex health and social needs of the chronically homeless. 

“HonorHealth is proud to work with Circle the City to address a need in the Sunnyslope community,”” said Michelle Pabis, HonorHealth Vice President for Government and Community Affairs. “This partnership will help us better serve the healthcare needs of the homeless in this community and supports HonorHealth’s vison to improve the health and well-being of those it serves.”

Circle the City has already proven its value in Maricopa County. In 2018, Circle the City’s homeless focused medical respite program was one of five demonstration sites nationwide selected for a three-year study funded by the Centers for Medicaid and Medicare Services (CMS) Health Care Innovation Center to evaluate the effectiveness of medical respite care for the homeless. 

The study concluded that Circle the City reduced per patient cost to CMS by an average of 58 percent. The study also found that found that patients receiving medical respite care are far less likely to return to homelessness. In Arizona, 92 percent of study participants were discharged from Circle the City’s medical respite program into a housing situation other than the street or emergency shelter system.