Program Information

Department: c/o Department of Family & Community Medicine

1015 Walnut Street
Curtis Building, Suite 401
Philadelphia, PA 19107

Contact Number(s):


Contact Number(s):

Please note that the mailing address provided above is solely intended for administrative purposes. The office is not staffed with JeffHOPE personnel and no patient records are kept onsite.

About Us

Our Mission

JeffHOPE is the largest student-run free clinic nationally, by number of members, number of patients treated, and by operating budget. The idea was first proposed in 1991 by then Jefferson medical student Lara Carson Weinstein in response to the lack of medical care options for the homeless population of Philadelphia. Since then we have expanded to include five clinics—two at men’s shelters, two at women and children’s shelters, and one at a harm reduction program. Each year we have a staff of approximately 60 first and second year medical students and 15 third and fourth year medical students.

While we have expanded over the years, so has the public health infrastructure in Philadelphia. With the expansion of PHMC clinics, PhillyFight clinics, and other centers such as the Stephen Klein Wellness Center, there are more and more professional options for care available to the homeless of Philadelphia. Thus, our role in the community has also changed, from the role of the Primary Care Provider to the role of patient advocates, helping connect those who have fallen through the cracks of the healthcare system back to the professional medical care that best fits their needs. While we are still adjusting to this new role, it can be seen at work in some basic tenets of the JeffHOPE mission:  

  • We offer acute care only! While we may diagnose chronic conditions (such as hypertension, Diabetes or HIV/Hepatitis C), we refer those patients to long-term care and help them address any barriers they have to seeking that care instead of trying to manage these very serious and life-long illnesses ourselves.
  • We under no circumstances prescribe or manage psychiatric medications.
  • We under no circumstances prescribe or manage narcotic medications.
  • We practice and teach the philosophy of harm reduction — whatever activities our patients are engaged in, we make sure they have the education and resources to be as safe as possible

Tyler Grenda (JMC '10) discussing a patient with Dr. Rajesh Kabadi at Our Brothers' Place.

In January 1996, the Prevention Point needle exchange program bonded with JeffHOPE to provide better medical care for the intravenous drug users and sex workers. This clinic provides yet another opportunity to serve the medically underserved, and allows Jefferson students to work with a patient population very different from that encountered at the shelter clinic sites.

In January 1997, as Project HOME opened a new shelter for women with psychological issues, JeffHOPE began a clinic at this Logan Square-area shelter serving women, most of whom are dually-diagnosed with psychiatric illnesses and drug addiction. This clinic previously operated every other Tuesday, alternating with our first clinic, St. Columba's. Unfortunately, both of these clinics are now closed, and we currently run clinic at Sunday Breakfast Rescue Mission on Tuesday nights.

JeffHOPE has been the recipient of the following awards:

  • 2015 – Corporate Giving Award from the Philadelphia Business Journal
  • 2006 – “Best of the Atlantic” Outstanding Project Award—National Service Learning Conference
  • 2004 – AAMC Caring Community Award
  • 2004 – Bethesda Project Honors
  • 2002 – SmithKline Beecham – Community Impact Award
  • 2000 – Salvation Army Community Partner of the Year
  • 2000 – Pennsylvania Public Health Association Award of Recognition
  • 2000 – Acts Christian Transitional Services Award of Gratitude
  • 1999 – SmithKline Beecham – Community Impact Award
  • 1999 – Jefferson Medical College Alumni Association Honors