Now more than ever before we have research indicating that housing is one of the most efficient ways to improve health outcomes. Housing often determines who has access to transit, grocery stores that sell fresh produce, jobs that pay living wages, safe parks, and good schools. However, according to Los Angeles Homeless Service Authority (LAHSA) “The 2016 Greater Los Angeles County found 46,874 homeless persons in the city of Los Angeles, an increase of almost 5.7% over 2015.” In June 2016, the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors declared a state of emergency. To take action on the homeless issue in LA County, a coordinated effort among homeless service providers is emerging. Efforts include wrapping services around the individuals to decrease recidivism rates to the streets and hospitals, and increase an individual’s opportunity to obtain housing and live a healthy life.


To take action on the housing social determinant of health, National Health Foundation has become enmeshed in the fabric of social services supporting individuals experiencing homelessness. After piloting the city’s first recuperative care program nearly 10 years ago in partnership with other community based organizations, National Health Foundation has embraced its role in addressing homelessness by expanding on its recuperative care program to more effectively address this root cause of poor health.


Pathway Recuperative Care provides a safe recovery place for individuals experiencing homelessness who are being discharged from the hospital and are still too sick to return to the streets or temporary shelter. This service allows individuals to continue their recovery and receive treatment for any additional minor illnesses thereby reducing the chances of relapse and costly re-hospitalization. Pathway Recuperative care utilizes a “pod” model to better serve individuals experiencing homelessness by having the ability to provide services in various locations so as not to uproot an individual from their preferred “home” community. Discharged from the hospital to a non-dormitory setting, individuals have semi-private rooms with a bathroom, providing for privacy and quite time to rest and recuperate from their hospitalization. National Health Foundation is committed to treating people with dignity and respect. National Health Foundation empowers individuals to move forward on their path to housing by establishing trusting relationships and providing safe and compassionate services that meet people where they are. Through intensive care management, care managers help individuals identify the root causes of their health issues, work to overcome those challenges, facilitate connections within the community that support an individual’s continual improvement, and for many, provide smooth transitions from the hospital to housing.


Ten years ago, National Health Foundation facilitated a coalition of organizations seeking a solution to hospitals’ inappropriate discharge of homeless patients to the streets. The result was a pilot recuperative care project, providing a solution to the discharge crisis for hospitals and providing individuals a safe place to recuperate. Fast-forward several years later to, not only acceptance of recuperative care as a solution, but a shift toward permanent housing placement. Stakeholders have by-and-large come to the realization that housing equals health and addressing the root causes of health issues is the ultimate solution for this population. NHF’s Bridge Housing Program bridges the gap between an individuals’ recuperative care stay and their move in date to their permanent housing placement. Bridge housing continues to provide a safe place for an individual to reside, receive case management services and medical oversight to ensure a smooth transition to their home and not be lost in the streets or a shelter environment.


  • 2781 unduplicated individuals have been safely discharged from the hospital to Recuperative Care since the inception of the program in 2010
  • 95% of referrals from hospitals were accepted in 2016
  • 945 unduplicated individuals have been safely discharged from the hospital to Pathway Recuperative Care in 2016.
  • 629 individuals moved into housing in 2016 (Shelter, transitional housing, permanent housing, permanent supportive housing)
  • 131 individuals moved from Bridge Housing into permanent or permanent supportive housing in 2016.
  • Saved hospitals and the healthcare system $34 million dollars in costs avoided.

To connect to the Pathway Recuperative Care website, please click here.


Pathway Recuperative Care has given 2,781 individuals without a home a safe discharge option from the hospital since the program's inception in 2010. Other programmatic impact includes:





Housing IS Health

Cedric had been without a home for several months and his health had deteriorated to the point where he needed surgery and an extended recovery in the hospital. Determined to provide him with a safe discharge option, one of National Health Foundation’s (NHF) Pathway Recuperative Care’s partner hospitals referred him the recuperative care program so […]

Mark, 3rd from right, with his Pathway Recuperative Care community of friends.

Housing First, Health Follows

A car accident a few years ago left Mark with a traumatic brain injury. The young man has since battled with substance abuse, lingering health issues and homelessness. When our partner hospital felt he would recover more effectively in recuperative care than on the streets, he was discharged to National Health Foundation’s (NHF) Pathway Recuperative […]

Pathway Recuperative Care's Denise McDaniel, LVN, connects with Jorge

Compassion and Care: Healing Those Without a Home

When Cedric was released from the hospital following a 6-month stay due to major surgery and complications, he needed a place to recover and set all of his follow-up care appointments. Cedric was without a home at the time. At National Health Foundation’s Pathway Recuperative Care program, Cedric found a place to recover from his […]