Team Work for Ending Homelessness
Written by a Program Director:
This summer (2021) a 65 year old chronically homeless male with severe health conditions came to agency’s corner for a walking bag (portable food). He was greeted by staff and helped to a table where he could eat and rest. When he sat down, he took off his socks and shoes and grimaced in pain. His feet were swollen and cracked. I put clean socks on him, asked him about his current situation. He was sleeping outside behind the Popeye’s. He had no identification, no income, no transportation, no food, no clean clothes, a plethora of untreated health conditions, and could barely walk on his own. Knowing we have a tremendously valuable partnership right here onsite, I went inside and sought our contact at Christ Community Heath Services for guidance. She walked over to the outreach center with me, assessed his vitals and navigated a plan for medical attention. Our Outreach Worker came to the outreach center and engaged with him to assess a long-term housing plan. He was transported to Methodist by lunch time. The ER hospital social worker called me that evening with an update on the patient and to coordinate a discharge plan. Our Outreach Worker arranged for a hotel room with meals, and the hospital took him directly there with a new walker and all new medication. Our Outreach Worker went to the hotel first thing this morning to check on him, and he was crying in tears stating that was the first time in 10 years he’d actually slept in a bed. I communicated with Christ Community Health Services so we could coordinate a healthcare primary plan to make sure he continued to monitor his heart failure, foot edema, take his medication, etc. Outreach got him all new clothes, made sure he got his breakfast, hygiene items, and is now working on his housing.
This is why you guys are here. This is how much of a difference you make every day. And this is just one example of how all of what seem like small moving parts come together and make a huge impact. Every role is the most important role.
He wouldn’t have had a place to sit, eat, or be assessed without Emergency Services and Outreach. He wouldn’t have had a place to ask for new clothes without Community Engagement. He wouldn’t have been able to be seen right away by medical professionals without Christ Community. He wouldn’t have been able to sleep indoors without funding and Accounting. He wouldn’t have someone checking on him again this afternoon to talk about what type of home he’s going to live in without Outreach and Homeless Services; or how he’s going to manage his health and wellness without Christ Community. Hopefully here soon, he’ll have a housing case manager through Homeless Services as well.
With all of the growth we are experiencing, both in grants and projects, as well as campus, you all have pitched in when needed and stepped up to tasks, and it is greatly appreciated. You’ve been complimented by board members and other departments. Volunteers have been so impressed with your expertise and knowledge while you help out at the mobile. I just wanted to thank you all for going above and beyond! It does not go unnoticed and I’m grateful!