Women’s medical respite services returning
By Kate O’Rourke |
EVANSVILLE, IN (WFIE) – Despite outreach from several groups serving the homeless, one group fell through the cracks.
Now, United Caring Services is expanding its services for homeless women.
It is more than just a bed for a night. Homelessness knows no gender.
At last count, more than 400 men and women were homeless in Vanderburgh County.
“As of last weekend … we have reopened medical respite for women and we have expanded Ruth’s House hours for all of our guests on the weekend which is a pretty big deal,” says UCS Executive Director Jason Emmerson.
It is a pretty big deal because Ruth’s House is the only place where single women can sleep and get medical care. Without adequate funding, the program closed last year.
“There’s still a need. I mean it might not be 40 people a year, but for 10 or 15 women it’s important,” says Emmerson. “To get them housed and positive health outcomes. We still received calls for it.”
UCS fought for and found new funding to reopen. Clients can now receive home health, get transportation to appointments, help to manage medicine.
“Being in a location like this, they can get those services. Out on the street, they’re not getting what they need,” says Medical Respite Program Coordinator Brandi Williams.
The program works closely with hospitals to identify women and assess their needs.
“If you have a lung issue, this weather is not good for you,” “You shouldn’t be outside. You need to be inside where you’re not making your condition worse. If you have an open wound, you need to be somewhere that’s a clean healthy environment so you’re not getting another infection or that infection won’t heal. We try to stress that when we go out to assess them and let them know the positives.”
They help women get housing and health insurance and sign up for social security and disability. Ruth’s House has beds for 24 women. Four are medical respite.
The shelter alone served nearly 200 women last year and hopes to serve more this year thanks to this expansion.
See the official press release HERE
See the full story and watch the on-air report HERE.