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Special Populations

Health centers are community-based and patient-directed organizations that serve populations with limited access to health care.  These include low income populations, the uninsured, those with limited English proficiency. 

Some health centers also receive specific funding to focus on certain special populations:

  • migrant and seasonal farmworkers
  • individuals and families experiencing homelessness
  • those living in public housing
  • Native Hawaiians

Migrant Health Centers

The Migrant Health Program (MHP) provides grants to community based non-profit organizations for a broad array of culturally and linguistically competent medical and support services to migrant and seasonal agricultural workers and their families. Principal employment for both migrant and seasonal farmworkers must be in agriculture.

Online Resources:

National Center for Farmworker Health, Inc
Migrant Clinicians Network

Healthcare for the Homeless Programs

In addition to receiving grant support from the Community Health Center (CHC) program, some may receive grants under the federal Health Care for the Homeless (HCH) Program to target care to homeless people. The Health Care for the Homeless Program is a major source of care for homeless persons in the United States, serving patients that live on the street, in shelters, or in transitional housing. It reaches out to homeless individuals and families and provides primary care as well as substance abuse and mental health services. Emphasis is placed on coordinating efforts with other community health providers and social service agencies.

Public Housing Primary Care Programs

Public Housing Primary Care Programs serve residents of public housing and are located in or adjacent to the communities they serve. It provides residents of public housing with increased access to comprehensive primary health care services through the direct provision of health promotion, disease prevention, and primary health care services.

Online Resource:
National Center for Health in Public Housing

Native Hawaiians

The Native Hawaiian Health Care Systems (NHHCS) Program, funded within the health center appropriation, improves the health status of Native Hawaiians by making health education, health promotion, and disease prevention services available through the support of NHHCS.

The Native Hawaiian Health Care Program also supports a health professions scholarship program for Native Hawaiians, the Native Hawaiian Health Scholarship Program (NHHSP), and administrative costs for Papa Ola Lokahi, an organization that coordinates and assists health care programs provided to Native Hawaiians.