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Northern Nevada HOPES begins program to help the homeless recover

Northern Nevada HOPES is announcing the start of a new medical respite project made possible by a $15,000 grant from the Community Foundation of Western Nevada matched by Saint Mary’s Regional Medical Center.

The combined $28,000 grant will fund a new program to help HOPES’ homeless clients recover from an illness or injury by providing a place to recover after they are discharged from the hospital. Often times, transient persons will become well enough to be discharged from the hospital, but are still too sick to fully recover without shelter.

HOPES will temporarily house these people for up to 30 days in nearby motel rooms to relieve the stress of living on the street to allow these patients to focus on recovery. HOPES case managers will check up on these patients daily to provide support, help them make it to medical appointments, and assist them in accessing community resources.

“Saint Mary’s is very pleased to be able to support the creation of this program,” Helen Lidholm, CEO of Saint Mary’s, said. “This innovative program supports medically frail homeless individuals in our community and aligns with our mission of providing accessible and affordable care options locally.”

The Nevada unemployment rate is 9.7 percent, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. And 16.4 percent of Nevadans live under the poverty line, according to the US. Census Bureau. HOPES has provided medical services for more than 550 homeless people so far in 2014. About 30 percent of those clients have needed emergency care this year as well.

The first step in the new project will be leasing and renovating three motel rooms to make them more suitable for recovery. The program will begin accepting patients in February 2015.

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