Demonstrate mercy and compassion for all.
The title for this blog is taken from the Center for Respite Care’s core values. The people who work at the Center are passionate that our clients receive stellar medical and case management services. This is all in an effort to ensure that, once they are ready for discharge, our clients can rejoin the wider community in good health and with solid life plans.
Our team is honored to continue to work at the national level with other organizations, with similar missions, on strategies and best practices. We are constantly evaluating and looking to improve our efforts in our clients’ behalf. Most recently, we participated in a study called The Framework for an Equitable COVID-19 Homelessness Response. The following are some findings and plans for the future taken from the recent report. It’s gratifying to see that the Center’s day to day work is aligned with the report’s findings.
- “The homelessness services system has long struggled to address the significant health care needs of the population it serves. Chronic and acute illnesses, behavioral health conditions, injuries, and wounds, as well as functional/ cognitive limitations are common among people experiencing homelessness, but most homelessness services providers are not health care providers.”
At the Center, we are blessed with a highly skilled medical staff who are trained and experienced with many years of caring for people experiencing homelessness. It is this longevity that has netted healthy outcomes for the people whom we treat.
- “As a result, shelter staff often struggle to maintain a healthy environment for everyone while at the same time, vulnerable individuals do not receive needed care— resulting in high rates of 911 calls, emergency department/hospital admissions, and worsening health outcomes. For example, most shelters are not trained or staffed to care for those who have just been discharged from the hospital but still require ongoing care for wounds, IV antibiotics, post-operative recuperation, or COVID-19. Partnerships with Health Care for the Homeless programs (or other federally qualified health centers/health care partners) are important to connect clients to a medical home, but these outpatient services do not include the residential component so critical to healing, nor are they able to provide the intensity of daily services often needed for stabilization. To mitigate this problem, programs provide medical care, support services, and short-term residential services (often in a shelter or stand-alone facility) to people experiencing homelessness who are too ill or frail to recover from a physical illness or injury on the streets, but who are not ill enough to be in a hospital.”
When a client is admitted to the Center, they are admitted into a healthy environment that is well equipped to handle their medical, social, and administrative needs. Importantly, throughout the COVID 19 pandemic we have ensured that our clients receive vaccines. Our practices have resulted in minimal COVID and a healthy environment.
- “Federal law requires hospitals to provide emergency care to everyone, and prohibits them from denying treatment based on insurance status, housing status, or other factors (although instances of “patient dumping” sometimes still occur). Because people experiencing homelessness often do not have a safe place to recover once they are ready for discharge, they often incur longer stays in the hospital at greater expense to hospitals and insurers.”
We are pleased that the Center is THAT place. We work with area hospitals who refer clients. We care for the people who otherwise would have nowhere else to go – thus benefitting both the individual and the community.
Our team at the Center includes case managers who are well connected within our community. This means that we are adept at accessing resources throughout a client’s stay and when they are ready to be released.
We break the cycle of the street to the hospital, back to the street. Our results demonstrate that a majority of our clients leave us with a warm place to sleep, have been medically treated and have a plan for their lives.
We continue to press on with our annual fundraising campaign. Please consider a donation that assists with our programs. Thank you to our staff and to Greater Cincinnati.