Is there a better way than simply releasing a person experiencing homelessness from the hospital back onto the street? It creates an endless cycle of emergency room visits and escalating costs, not to mention the challenges the patients face in having a successful recovery.
As we continue to look for solutions to homelessness in our city, a group of community members from different fields and backgrounds met recently to brainstorm and discuss alternatives to the practice of releasing patients into a state of homelessness.
That’s a long way of saying that if someone experiencing homelessness comes to an emergency room with a need for medical aid, the only alternative once treated is to release the patient back onto the street. The chances of recovery are greatly diminished, while the probability of return visits increases. The costs are severe, both to the person experiencing homelessness and to our ever-more expensive health care system.
Spearheading the initiative is Dr. Louis Hugo Francescutti, a veteran emergency room physician at the Royal Alexandra Hospital and a Professor at the School of Public Health at the University of Alberta.
Watch this short video to hear from some of those involved and to better understand the concept and learn why there is a growing groundswell of support for this idea.
There are many ways that people can get involved with this initiative. It’s common sense that housing and health are interconnected. Finding solutions to chronic homelessness and easing pressure on our health care system is something we can all get behind.
Please contact Dr. Louis Hugo Francescutti directly to learn more about the project and how you can help: