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Jacob Klopfenstein, KSL.com

Homelessness resources: How to get medical treatment if you're in need

By Jacob Klopfenstein, KSL.com | Posted - Apr 17th, 2019 @ 8:09am


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SALT LAKE CITY — Mitchell Curtis Tootsie, who has spent some time living on the streets, said he thinks some homeless people believe they don’t need help.

Tootsie, 49, said many people think if they can get through living on the streets, they can get through anything, and don’t need help in the form of medical treatment.

Tootsie previously felt that way about himself. But he ultimately opened his mind to the idea.

"Why don’t I just let these people help me out and see what we could come up with?" he asked himself. “And things have gotten a lot better.”

Though he will add, "I'm no better than anyone else."

Researchers have found a correlation between lack of housing and below-average health.

A 2011 study from Washington State University found that people with an insecure housing situation were about twice as likely to report poor or fair health than those with stable housing. The study found that those people also were more likely to delay doctor visits because of cost than people with secure housing.

To help reduce potential barriers those experiencing homelessness may face when seeking help, KSL.com has compiled a list of facilities that provide care for people at a wide variety of income levels.

The map below provides a list of public and community health care facilities that provide medical services to those in need.

Government-run public health departments provide limited medical services such as immunizations and sexually transmitted disease testing, according to Salt Lake County Health Department spokesman Nicholas Rupp.

Community health care facilities typically provide day-to-day medical and dental care needs, Rupp said.

The Fourth Street Clinic in Salt Lake City, a community health facility, does not turn away people if they cannot pay for care or do not have insurance. Other facilities on this list determine prices with an income-based sliding scale, or accept Medicaid and private insurance.

If you can’t find a place in your area that suits your needs, visit 211utah.org for more information.

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Jacob Klopfenstein

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