Old, Sick, and Homeless
The H3 program serves people who are homeless, 60 or older, low income, and have a medical profile that make it likely they will die in the next 2 years if they continue to live on the streets.
An “upside down” system
For extremely sick or dying individuals without a home, housing is absolutely critical to the improvement of their health, or to die peacefully. Dr. Darin Neven of Providence states that, “Housing is one of the best treatments we have in all of medicine. It helps a lot of problems and we really need to recognize that we need to be able to write a prescription for that housing and have someplace that can actually fill the prescription and keep filling that prescription. Otherwise, people are not going to get better.“
With nowhere to go, medically fragile homeless individuals frequent use the emergency room for care. Recent studies have show that just one chronically homeless person can cost communities between $30,000 to $50,000 dollars per year in emergency room visits, medical bills, and law enforcement. For some individuals it can be even higher.
A Better Way Together
“We are not a community that allows old, sick, homeless people to die on the streets” says . . . (cite). “We are building a cross-sector network of providers that are providing stable housing, meetings basic needs, and improving health outcomes. What’s more, the network is providing these services for less than the cost of the current ‘emergency’ approach. This makes sense on so many different levels.”