By Pat Loeb

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — The Broad Street Ministry provides many services to Philadelphia’s homeless population.

On Friday, it announced the addition of a new one, and it is a big one.

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Broad Street has teamed up with Health Partners Plans, an HMO that serves low income patients, and FIGHT, which provides medical services primarily to HIV patients, to provide medical care, on site, for the homeless.

“I am so excited because Philadelphia FIGHT and Health Partners Plan are saying that they are willing to bring their care directly to our guests, who are some of the most vulnerable people in the city,” said executive director Mike Dahl.

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Partners in the project got a citation from city council members at the announcement. (credit: Pat Loeb)

Health Partners CEO Bill George says the partnership arose after the HMO found 500 of its members using the Ministry as their address.

“Even though this is a non-traditional approach, even though we don’t think anyone else has done this, we are confident that we will improve access, improve care, and ultimately, for the taxpayers, reduce the costs of caring for this very vulnerable population,” he said.

George says, in fact, Health Partners is already looking to expand to other sites.

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“We believe what we learn here on South Broad Street, we can replicate elsewhere because homelessness is everywhere in the United States,” he said.