Posts Tagged ‘Emergency room’

Hospitals and Homelessness…

Today’s post is part of the annual A-to-Z Blogging Challenge. For more information on the challenge and its creator visit:

a-z 2015 h

My theme this year is An Intimate Look at the Homeless and Mental Health Epidemic in America which just happens to be the subtitle of my next book, The Stranger in My Recliner. The book is the true story of Sophie.  She was the eighty-year-old homeless woman that my husband brought home one night. She lived with us for nearly three –years. The book will be out this fall.

Hospitals and Homelessness

Angelo Solis was a homeless man in his 60’s. He was also an alcoholic. When he would pass out in public the police and an ambulance would be called. They would take him to the hospital emergency room. Doctors would admit him, treat his chronic health problems, detox him and then release him. He would get drunk, pass out and the police would repeat the process. Because he slept outside his diabetes and heart condition could never be properly treated. Over a three-year period the medical bills alone totaled more than a million dollars and were paid for by the taxpayers.


Angelo was only one case. San Francisco allocates thirty-million dollars of its one trillion dollar Health Department budget to cases like this.

Just imagine how many apartments could be rented, social worker salaries and mental health services could be bought with a thirty-million dollar a year budget. Imagine if done all over the country.

I imagine it could end homelessness.

A mother and her one-year-old son spent their nights shuttling between a hospital emergency room and Transit Station after a friend kicked them out. Another woman, eight months pregnant, huddled overnight on a beach with her 3-year-old. Neither of the women could get into a shelter because they couldn’t prove sleeping outside caused a health risk to them.

I’m thinking the children could wonder off and be hit by a car while the mother’s slept or be abducted. The women were at risk of being sexually assaulted. (One actually was sexually assaulted in a shelter.)

Hospital emergency rooms all over America are being overused and overwhelmed with homeless, mentally ill and addicted patients. The police, first responders and family members are using ER’s as default landing zones for those in crisis. Our first responders are good people and they want to help. We need to provide them with realistic and safe solutions. Either these emergency rooms need to be equipped, trained and staffed to be a viable solution to this epidemic or we must demand their revolving doors be closed.

Emergency room door


I’m one of Lisa’s Live Wires! Lisa is a challenge co-host Lisa Buie-Collard.

A-Z 2015 Minion Badge

I am excited to be working with this bunch of fabulous bloggers …

Rhonda Albom –   Bob R. Milne –   Tamera Narayan –  Stephanie Faris –   Heather McCubbin –   Randi Lee















Realize Your Writing Dreams by Doreen McGettigan
The Stranger In My Recliner by Doreen McGettigan
Book - Bristol Boyz Stomp by Doreen McGettigan
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