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The Old Brewery Mission Mobile Health Clinic, powered by TELUS Health, celebrates its first birthday

14 April 2024

With the number of people experiencing homelessness in Montreal on the rise, the mobile clinic provided close to 2,700 consultations in its first 12 months of operation

The Old Brewery Mission is pleased to mark the first anniversary of the Old Brewery Mission Mobile Health Clinic, powered by TELUS Health. The mobile clinic reaches out to people experiencing homelessness who are in public spaces and works to meet their needs wherever they are. During the clinic’s first 12 months of operation, 2,691 interventions were carried out to provide services and care to marginalized Montrealers.

The team offers a range of services focused on three priorities:

  • Support for cohabitation and reaffiliation, including referral to local support and emergency services, legal services, and administrative support, such as registering with the Régie de l’assurance maladie du Québec (RAMQ) and assistance with applying for financial aid;
  • Rehousing-related support, including filing tax returns, accessing identity documents and applying for housing assistance;
  • Physical healthcare services and psychosocial support, including access to preventative testing, wound care, harm reduction services and referrals to a wide variety of mental health and addiction services.

The Old Brewery Mission uses a collaborative approach, teaming up with other Montreal community organizations. The mobile clinic is out in the field, working with key community partners to complement the services offered by local organizations. The mobile health clinic is equipped with TELUS Health electronic medical record (EMR) technology and enables clinic staff to collect and store health data, examine results over time, and provide better continuity of care to patients who previously had undocumented medical histories.

Outreach to vulnerable clients

The most recent homeless count estimated that 4,690 people in Montreal were experiencing visible homelessness. Every day, approximately 1,000 people spend the night in public spaces. For this vulnerable population, access to care and services is particularly difficult.

The Old Brewery Mission Mobile Health Clinic works to reach this very marginalized population and provide them with caring and effective support to transition from the street to rehousing. “Many factors can push people experiencing homelessness to live in public spaces: lack of space in emergency shelters, difficulty following community rules, the desire to stay with a partner or their pet and substance abuse issues, among others,” explains Mila Alexova, Outreach Services Coordinator at the Old Brewery Mission. “We need to provide services that enable them to access housing without necessarily having to go through shelters. That’s what the Old Brewery Mission Mobile Health Clinic, powered by TELUS Health, is doing.”

Support from the private sector and community organizations

The Old Brewery Mission is grateful for the confidence TELUS and the TELUS Health for Good program have shown in this project: “We are proud to have been chosen as TELUS’ lead partner in this initiative,” says James Hughes, President and CEO of the Old Brewery Mission. “Given the current situation in Montreal, we need the support of the private sector to meet the growing demand for homelessness services, and TELUS has shown exemplary commitment to vulnerable communities in Canada.”

“The mobile clinic’s inaugural year has been a resounding success. With our technology at its core, our TELUS Health for Good program has made health and wellbeing support accessible to some of Montreal’s most vulnerable communities,” said Martin Bélanger, Senior Vice President, Payor & Provider Solutions, TELUS Health. “Our support has allowed clinic staff to provide seamless continuity of care, filling in the gaps for patients with previously undocumented medical histories. This is a testament to our commitment to empowering communities through innovative solutions.”

About the Old Brewery Mission

Founded in 1889, the Old Brewery Mission is the largest resource in Quebec for men experiencing homelessness and the largest in Canada for women experiencing homelessness. It works with people experiencing or at risk of homelessness in Montreal, providing concrete support for their long-term reaffiliation and housing stability. It is an important player in Montreal’s social ecosystem, contributing daily to improving urban health in the city through prevention programs, emergency services with psychosocial support and rehousing initiatives. Every year, the Old Brewery Mission helps thousands of people rebuild their lives. For more information, visit missionoldbrewery.ca.

About TELUS Health for Good

Since 2014, TELUS Health for Good has been connecting underserved individuals to the medical and mental health care they need using the power of technology. Equipped with TELUS electronic medical records technology, and fuelled by compassion, our Mobile Health Clinics provide essential primary medical care to individuals living on the streets and have supported over 150,000 patient visits since the program’s inception. The program also supports women experiencing marginalization with access to free TELUS Health MyCare™ counselling sessions and supports low-income older adults to live more independently and enjoy peace of mind with subsidized access to TELUS LivingWell Companion™.

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