Valleywise Health (formerly MIHS) and Central Arizona Shelter Services (CASS) are partnering in a new pilot program to provide temporary shelter for homeless patients with chronic health issues recently released from the hospital.
The project begins this month with eight semi-private beds designated at the CASS shelter in Phoenix for homeless patients discharged from Valleywise Health Medical Center. At the shelter, they will receive assistance in finding long-term health resources, permanent housing and other services. Valleywise Health will provide transportation to the shelter. CASS will provide shelter, case management, housing resources, and referrals and coordination to other wrap around services.
“It is fitting for our historic mission at Valleywise Health to take care of the most vulnerable in our community,” said Dr. Michael White, Valleywise Health Chief Medical Officer. “That includes ensuring the sick and disabled have an opportunity to obtain shelter after being discharged to help end the cycle of returning to the streets and then being readmitted back into a hospital.”
“We are truly grateful to Valleywise Health for stepping up to make this new hospital drop off program a reality for people coming to CASS’ adult emergency shelter and who need recovery time after a hospital discharge,” states Lisa Glow, CEO of CASS. “The designated area and new semi-private beds inside of the CASS adult shelter will allow a newly discharged person who is frail the extra time they need to recover with dignity. We are hopeful that other health care partners and hospitals are inspired by this new program and will get involved as well. The homeless crisis is simply too big for anyone of us on our own to solve; together, however, we can create innovative solutions and build a more dignified service delivery system for people experiencing homelessness.”
Valleywise Health ensures all patients are stable to be discharged before releasing them from the hospital. However, it is often difficult to find housing for homeless patients because local shelters are frequently full.
The cooperative agreement between Valleywise Health and CASS provides discharged patients with nowhere to go, a place to get better that is more fitting for their fragile physical condition. A Valleywise Health social worker will also work with CASS to ensure follow-up care and to help find the next placement for the client.