Studies have shown and experience has confirmed that housing and health are inextricably connected and without a safe place for the homeless to recuperate, their condition deteriorates and they wind up back in the hospital. We need to break that cycle. Homeless New Yorkers Need a Safe Place to Recuperate – Not the Street, a report based on the work of over 75 organizations and individuals concerned about this issue, describes the steps being taken to address the need for short-term medical respite, defined as providing “recuperative care… a safe and humane alternative when ‘discharge to home’ is not possible for those without homes.”
The report gives an in-depth view of what is currently being done nationally to address the challenges of the medically homeless population and provides recommendations for this model of medical respite in New York.
Overview of Recommendations:
- The initial focus should be on the smaller subset of the medically homeless who require short-term medical respite care.
- The initial paths to access medical respite should be from those being discharged from the hospital and pre-hospitalization.
- A minimum of one respite program per borough with approximately 15 beds in four of the five boroughs and three beds in Staten Island.