Your Field Guide

This is your field guide, a resource we hope you will use and develop over time. The initial intent of the field guide was to document how the homeless population accesses Medi-Cal. However, we expect the guide to develop over time with your help. As benefits navigators, you will quickly become experts in how the homeless population and others enroll in Medi-Cal, as well as other benefits. It’s important that you continue to share this expertise, initially with your fellow benefits workers, and then also to the larger network of homeless outreach workers. The knowledge that you gather and share will help to make the field guide a living resource for you, your colleagues, and many others who are focused on improving access to Medi-Cal and other benefits.

How this Field Guide Works

As a member of a mobile team, you gather knowledge quickly. However, sometimes the rate of learning can exceed the ability to document it fast enough. The field guide is intended to be a simple digital source for you to:

  • Learn from key findings collected by previous outreach and research teams
  • Document learnings acquired during your daily work
  • Share solutions, insights, and fixes for commonly encountered problems

While you probably use a variety of analog and digital tools in your daily work, most likely you carry a smartphone. The field guide is formatted to be easily accessible on a phone as well from phones to laptops.

The organization of the field guide is based on locations. Initial research teams looked at places like HSA, the Behavioral Health Access Center and the Zuckerberg San Francisco General Hospital. With your help, the guide will expand to include other locations, learnings and best practices as well.

The field guide was the result of work conducted over a two-month period. Research involved interviews, observational studies and visits to a variety of sites where homeless people receive city services. While the team has tried to validate what it has learned with City of SF subject matter experts, the material within it may change quickly. As a navigator, your help in ensuring the continued relevance of the information within is critical.

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