Community-based participatory research examining the health care needs of African Americans who are homeless with mental illness

J Health Care Poor Underserved. 2015 Feb;26(1):119-33. doi: 10.1353/hpu.2015.0018.


African Americans with mental illness who are homeless experience significant health risks and illnesses leading to high mortality and morbidity rates. A community-based participatory research (CBPR) team conducted a qualitative study to begin to describe these problems. Results from focus groups and key informant interviews of 42 individuals yielded 98 themes which were sorted into three categories: problems, solutions, and peer navigators. Results included a review of the problems and solutions which the community or people might adopt. An additional goal was to understand and develop impact of peer navigators for addressing health problems in this group. Results yielded a list of values in hiring peer navigators as well as skills and resources they might need to successfully do their job. Findings from the study are currently being used by the CBPR team to develop a peer navigator program for this community.

MeSH terms

  • Black or African American*
  • Chicago / epidemiology
  • Community-Based Participatory Research
  • Health Services Accessibility
  • Health Services Needs and Demand*
  • Humans
  • Ill-Housed Persons*
  • Mental Disorders / epidemiology*