The man was in bad shape. Lying on a blanket in a Glendale park and surrounded by his belongings, he was bleeding profusely, the result of chronic excessive drinking. Ascencia Outreach Case Manager Alfred Hernandez approached to see what he could do.
Jeffrey (not his real name), was a 74-year-old Navy veteran who struggled with alcohol dependence, arthritis, COPD, and osteoporosis. By his count, he had been living on the streets more than 30 years.
Over Jeffrey’s objections, Alfred insisted on getting Jeffrey to a local hospital. Two weeks and 11 units of blood later, Jeffrey called Alfred. Jeffrey’s repeated history of hospitalizations, and the severity of his health conditions made him a prime candidate for an Ascencia program that identifies and moves the highest cost homeless users of hospital services to permanent housing.
Dignity Health Foundation recently granted funding for support of the outreach services for the project. Funding from the Baxter International Foundation helped Ascencia add a Hospital Liaison to work directly with hospital staff to identify eligible patients. Since last summer, Ascencia has housed ten chronically homeless frequent hospital users like Jeffrey and the program is already showing dramatic impact.
Less than a year later, Jeffrey is stable, living in his own apartment, and using a local health clinic – not the hospital – for his medical care.
For more information about Ascencia, please visit ascenciaCA.org. To schedule a tour of Ascencia’s new Glendale home at 1851 Tyburn St., please call (818) 246-7900 or email info@ascenciaCA.org.
January 31, 2014
The Tolucan Times