The UCS Homeless Medical Respite Program is the only local program of its kind and is nationally recognized. It provides temporary housing for homeless men and women needing a safe discharge from the hospital for better healing, recovery, housing, and hope.
The Medical Respite Program is typically available for up to six weeks, but may be extended based upon individual needs and circumstances. The persons admitted to the Program will have a discharge plan, intense case management, regular contact with their personal healthcare provider, regular visits from the ECHO Outreach Team, and health assessment and education from USI nursing students as available.
UCS provides a safe, sanitary bed and environment, secure medication storage, non-medical supervision, security, cooked meals, full bathroom facilities, and other vital supportive services 24hrs/day, 7 days/ week.
The medical respite program provides wrap-around support to address the homeless status of each individual. The goal of this program is to reduce recidivism and facilitate healing, recovery, and hope while seeking to stabilize a person’s living situation positioning them for healthier living. Support from valued partners like Deaconess, St. Vincent, Healthsouth, and other community individuals and organizations makes this incredibly important program possible.
We served fewer guests in 2018 (about half) compared to 2017 due to our women’s respite being closed because of an unexpected funding reduction, a reduction in total referrals, and staff turnover. As we anticipated, thanks to the financial support from the Buck Foundation, Cecil A. and Mabel Lene Hamman Foundation, Koch Foundation, Methodist Temple, and the Vanderburgh Medical Alliance that allowed our women’s respite services to reopen in 2019, it was a great year and a return to better service to people in our community.
Additional referral and funding partners are being sought so the medical respite program can remain financially viable and able to serve men and women in 2020 and 2021.
33 Men and Women
stayed 578 days/nights finding rest and recuperation in 2019
in avoided inpatient stay expenses thanks to respite in 2019
85% of respite guests are safely discharged from respite
Nearly 40% of all safe discharges are into permanent housing
- Guest is an adult, age 16 and over, currently experiencing homelessness
- Guest needs respite/recuperative services and has no other option for obtaining them
- Guest suffers from a primary medical issue that would benefit from respite care environment and is referred by a hospital
- Guest has a medical condition that can effectively be addressed within 6 weeks
- Guest is independent in Activities of Daily Living (ADLs)
- Guest must comply with daily personal hygiene and cleanliness of respite area
- Guests are subject to policies and procedure of the day and night shelter programs
A full list of Admission/Referral Criteria can be found HERE.
Exclusion Criteria: Patients must not have behavioral issues, due to substance use or psychiatric diagnosis/disorder that require attention/staffing beyond respite’s current capacity. See a full list above for more information.
Resources: Check out this interesting article, “Medical Respite for People Experiencing Homelessness: Financial Impacts with Alternative Levels of Medicaid Coverage.”