Home Matters for Health Symposium

San Francisco learns why Home Matters

TNDC co-hosts Home Matters for Health Symposium that explores the connection between home and health

On November 5th, TNDC, in partnership with Home Matters, hosted a half-day symposium on the connection between housing and health. Titled “Home Matters for Health,” the symposium featured several of the leading experts in the nation on the topic and focused on three essential connections between home and health: the impact of stable affordable homes on health, the value of supportive housing including health services, and the cost-effectiveness of health care that prevents homelessness.

The event took place at Kelly Cullen Community, our new supportive housing facility in the Tenderloin that includes a Department of Public Health-managed health clinic. Home Matters is a national movement that aims to unite America around the essential role that home plays as the bedrock for thriving lives, communities, and a stronger nation.

U.S. Deputy Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Maurice Jones delivered the keynote address and talked about his personal connection to housing and health, as well as the national commitment to housing. Mayor Edwin Lee offered welcoming remarks.

The event included a panel discussion with Joshua Bamberger, Medical Director for Housing and Urban Health, San Francisco Department of Public Health; Deborah De Santis, President of CSH (formerly Corporation for Supportive Housing); and Megan Sandel, Medical Director for the National Center for Medical-Legal Partnership and an expert on housing and children’s health. The discussion was facilitated by HUD Regional Administrator Ophelia Basgal. After the panel discussion, guests had time to ask questions of the panelists about the connection between home and health.

Some of the key ideas discussed included the connection between a child’s overall health and the quality of the housing they live in. “I tell people that housing is like a vaccine,” says Megan Sandel, “it is preventative and protects a child their whole lives.”

In San Francisco specifically, Joshua Bamberger says he has seen a direct correlation between mental health and the quality of a building’s design, landscaping, and upkeep.


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