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Newly-Launched Program Provides Post-Surgery Medical Care for the Homeless

United Way

A new local program is providing the homeless with shelter while they heal from surgeries.

Two homeless people are recovering from surgery in a local motel.  They are the first to benefit from the Homeless Medical Respite Care Program, which launched last month.

Funded by a grant from the Cape Fear Memorial Foundation and several regional nonprofits, it’s the most recent facet of the 10 Year Plan to End Chronic Homelessness, an initiative that is managed and partially funded by the local United Way. Dan Ferrell, the Strategic Director of the 10 Year Plan, explains the goals of the Medical Respite Care Program:

“What we’re shooting for is 3 to 7 days for recuperation if we can. One of the major objectives of the partnership is to not only allow the client or the patient to recover and recuperate quickly and safely and inexpensively but to have them not return to the emergency room or be re-hospitalized for the same condition.”

Under the Affordable Care Act, hospitals are penalized when people, particularly indigent care patients, return for the same illness. Director Ferrell says medical respite programs are a good way to head off some of those costs and provide care for those who need it.