NYC Health + Hospitals helps homeless patients with medical respite program

It offers patients experiencing homelessness a place to stay for up to 90 days while accessing expanded medical services that are not available in shelter, as part of its Housing for Health initiative.

Ashley Mastronardi

Mar 29, 2024, 3:40 PM

Updated 21 days ago

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Days are looking brighter for Keith, a New York City resident. News 12 New York is omitting his last name to protect his privacy.
“I was depressed how my life was going, so I took some pills, I overdosed ... I came to this place, and they made me feel like home,” Keith told News 12 New York. 
“This place” is the NYC Health + Hospitals medical respite, operated by the Institute for Community Living.  Instead of going back to the shelter, Keith came here about two weeks ago. Medical respite is a place for people experiencing homelessness to stay after they’ve been hospitalized in one of Health + Hospitals' 11 facilities.
“A discharge planner would make a referral for them and then they could come to medical respite to receive wound care, OT or PT for up to 90 days until that person goes to the next place of housing,” said Marjorie Momplaisir-Ellis, of NYC Health and Hospitals.
Keith says he’s receiving mental health support, he’s taking his medication for schizophrenia twice a day and much more.
“Shower, clothes, love and guidance ... I came here with just one pair, piece of clothes and I have more than five or six items now ... I have a refrigerator full of food, it feels just like I have my own place,” he said.
But most importantly, Keith feels he has a chance.
“I had my mind settled on the shelters and the streets again, I was like what am I going to do? It’s like a revolving circle, I’m out of the revolving circle now,” he said.
Health + Hospitals has 51 beds across two medical respite centers - and they’re the largest in the state. It say it needs more government funding to help more New Yorkers.  Individuals can make private donations HERE


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