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H.O.P.E.+ Initiative

Manual to create a health fair


The Home-free, Outreach, Prevention, Education (H.O.P.E.+) Initiative is a health fair model developed through years of work in the community aimed at closing health disparities and increasing access to service to underserved communities. The initiative has made progress in meeting these goals thanks to the support of the Direct Relief Foundation. Other key players in completing these goals have been local partners and collaborators from the community, who have continuously offered their services, resources, and teams to successfully host these health fairs.


In 2016, H.O.P.E. started as a small health fair at a local shelter (Opportunity Center for the Homeless) focused on helping those home-free or at risk of being home-free. The idea focused on delivering health and human services as well as integration of employment resources, vocational guidance, and disability services. This was when scholars and students from social work, nursing, clinical laboratory science, and pharmacy came together to make this possible.


Today, 7 years and a pandemic later, H.O.P.E.+ has received support from 85+ community agencies and with hundreds of students volunteering at each event. Grounded in community-engagement values and service-learning practices, the H.O.P.E.+ health fairs have successfully served the El Paso, TX community. The home-free community H.O.P.E.+ serves is unique in our region, it is made up of not only the home-free but those with unstable living situations, migrants, elders, and other displaced populations. 

The H.O.P.E.+ Initiative goals are 

  1. Providing evidence-based health screenings and health education to the residents of the Opportunity Center for the Homeless (OC) and individuals experiencing homelessness in the El Paso region.
  2. Connecting H.O.P.E.+ participants and other vulnerable populations with health and human services and programs through referral processes. 
  3. Promoting enrollment in primary care, human service programs, and increasing access to care.
  4. Engaging and evaluating the participation and impact of H.O.P.E.+ on UTEP students to prepare health and social science professionals in the provision of high-impact community-engaged educational practice and service. 

The established measures are:

  1. Offer health screenings to 600 (100 per H.O.P.E.+ health fair) individuals experiencing homelessness and inform them about the preventive health practices measures.
  2. Identify individuals in need of health and human services and refer them to appropriate programs and services in El Paso County.
  3. Expand collaboration and cooperation with community partner organizations to address the needs of people experiencing homelessness.
  4. Engage and evaluate the impact of H.O.P.E.+ on a minimum of 62 UTEP students from Nursing, Social Work, Pharmacy, Clinical Laboratory Sciences, Occupational therapy, Physical Therapy and Rehabilitation Counseling in community-engaged education and service to diversify the healthcare, workforce, heighten awareness of health inequities and to explore potential opportunities for collaborative research. 

Questionnaires were designed to address the following:

  1. What are the personal characteristics of the residents served by the H.O.P.E.+ health fairs?
  2. What are the health needs of the individual's experiencing homelessness in El Paso?
  3. How are individuals experiencing homelessness connected (or not) to health care services?
  4. What is the impact of H.O.P.E.+ in participating students' view of vulnerable population, high-impact community engagement, and potential contribution to eliminating health disparities?

H.O.P.E.+ thrives on its values of collaboration, community, cooperation, and social capital


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