Brother Francis Shelter Respite program manager Robin Dempsey sits in the new respite area. (Hillman/Alaska Public Media)A new community partnership is freeing up hospital resources by proving people without homes a place to heal. Brother Francis Shelter in Anchorage is working with the area’s three main hospitals to provide respite care for sick or injured people who are homeless.Listen nowDuring her 26 years as a home health care provider, nurse Deb Seidl has treated people living in homeless camps and out of campers–anywhere she could consistently find them. But she said healing on the streets is hard.“To be sick or to be just not well – maybe it’s an injury – to be on the streets is scary,” Seidl said. “It’s difficult to heal. There’s so much to try to pull together.”Wounds are more easily infected without running water, and overcoming an illness is harder without some place to sleep all day. This causes people to go in and out of the hospital taking up beds and using emergency department services. They need one basic thing.“For healing, housing is often that first prescription,” Seidl said.So a couple of years ago, a team at Providence began looking for a community partner that could provide short-term respite housing for people who are homeless. They found it with Catholic Social Services.“Here we are in the Brother Francis Shelter Medical Respite Area,” BFS Program Director Lisa Caldeira said as she walked into a quiet hallway at the back of the largest emergency shelter in Anchorage. The area has five double occupancy bedrooms, a small common room with large plastic rocking chairs, a kitchen, and an office for a case manager.“It is meant to be a space for peace and calm and healing,” Caldeira explained. Some people stay there for a week, others for months.The pilot respite program started with just two beds in October 2016 then quickly grew to four. Some of the 18 patient-guests who stayed there received in-home health services, like nurses who changed bandages on wounds or physical therapists. Others just had a space to rest while getting over pneumonia or a broken bone.Caldeira said during the pilot phase, Providence donated care to patients, giving the partners time to figure out details like visiting protocols and compliance with Medicare requirements.“We were able to practice and make mistakes and figure out how medical respite could work here at the shelter and for Anchorage,” Caldeira said.Now the respite area is officially open and has space for 10 patient-guests, like Ed McLaughlin. He joined the respite program because of a broken knee.“If it wasn’t for back there,” McLaughlin said, pointing to the respite area, “my only other options would be sprawl out on the floor out here like the general population does that’s staying here, or be out on the streets.”McLaughlin said because he’s had time and space to heal, he may not need surgery. He hoped to be back doing seasonal jobs soon and not returning to the shelter.For Vicki Hannah, the new respite program offers hope. She moved to Anchorage from Seward to seek medical care but can’t afford housing. Without housing, she can’t get the surgery she needs.“The doctors don’t like to do surgery for people who are homeless,” Hannah said, echoing the sentiments of some of the medical providers. “So I was going to have to wait until Alaska Housing put me in a place, but now I might be able to have it done sooner.”But Hannah can’t pre-book a room in the respite area. Patients are connected to the program through the hospitals who contact the shelter and together they see if the program is a good fit. The patient-guests have to be able to care for themselves and be willing to share space. For people who stay longer than a week or so, the case manager will connect them to longer-term services and rapid re-housing. 14 of the 18 patient-guests who participated in the pilot respite program did not return to homelessness.The program is based on similar models at homeless shelters in Washington and California.“Probably doing this has been the highlight of my career,” Seidl said. “Part of it is to be in the room with community leaders and hospital leaders that have a common goal and all have the community and community members’ best interest at heart.”Seidl and others say this is the first time they can remember Providence Hospital, Alaska Regional Hospital and the Alaska Native Tribal Health Consortium collaborating on a project. Construction companies and architects volunteered time to re-do the space at the shelter. They are also opening a clinic at Brother Francis.Seidl said anecdotal evidence shows that emergency department visits are down since starting the program, but they don’t have hard data. However, she has heard one concrete response from participants: “It is so good to feel safe.”
Bengaluru: Karnataka BJP President B S Yeddyurappa will be sworn in as Chief Minister for the fourth time on Friday evening, two days after the collapse of H D Kumaraswamy-led Congress-JD(S) government. In a sudden development, Yeddyurappa met Governor Vajubhai Vala to stake the claim and requested him to administer the oath of office and secrecy Friday itself, following which Vala invited him to form the government. Also Read – INX Media case: P Chidambaram’s CBI custody extended for three days till September 2 Advertise With Us “I have requested Governor to administer me oath between 6-6:15 pm as the Chief Minister. The Governor has agreed and given me a letter,” Yeddyurappa told reporters after meeting Vala at Raj Bhavan. He said, “who all are to be inducted (in the ministry), I will discuss it with our national president and inform.” Yeddyurappa said as he is already Leader of the Opposition, there is no need to call a Legislature Party meeting to elect him the leader. This will be the fourth stint for Yeddyurappa as the Chief Minister– the last one was after the May 2018 Assembly polls. He had to resign just three days after being sworn in, unable to muster majority after staking claim to form the government on the grounds that his party had emerged as the single largest one with 104 seats in the 225-member Assembly. Also Read – Pakistan ISI agents copy most hi-tech feature of Rs 2,000 notes Advertise With Us Inviting MLAs of all political parties for the swearing in, Yeddyurappa said, he would also be sending a letter of invitation to outgoing chief Minister H D Kumaraswamy and Congress Legislature Party leader Siddaramaiah. “I will also try to contact Kumaraswamy and Siddaramaiah over phone, to invite them personally,” he added. Yeddyurappa’s claim for government formation comes a day after the Assembly Speaker K R Ramesh Kumar disqualified three rebel Congress MLAs while keeping his decision pending on the remaining 14 lawmakers. The state BJP leadership was awaiting “instructions” from party’s central leadership to stake the claim for forming the government. A group of Karnataka BJP leaders, including Jagdish Shettar, Arvind Limbavali, J C Madhuswamy, Basavaraj Bommai and Yeddyurappa’s son Vijayendra Thursday had met party chief Amit Shah in New Delhi and reportedly discussed the government formation. Advertise With Us The 14-month-old Congress-JD(S) coalition government collapsed on Tuesday after losing the vote of confidence in the Assembly in a climax to the three-week long intense power struggle. In his letter to the Governor, Yeddyurappa noted that the Kumaraswamy government had lost the vote of confidence in the Assembly and the chief minister had resigned and he was asked to continue till alternative arrangements were made. “I submit that I am the leader of BJP Legislature Party and also the Leader of Opposition in the Assembly. At present, the strength of the BJP is 105 and the single largest party in the Assembly,” he said. “Therefore, I request your Excellency, I may be invited to form alternate government today itself and I will take oath as chief minister of Karnataka at Raj Bhavan between 6 pm to 6.15 pm,” the letter said. The Congress slammed the move for government formation, saying that since the BJP did not have the numerical strength, it could not stake claim nor take the oath for any reason. “Corruption Icon and Former Jail Bird Shri @BSYBJP has used his excellent Horse Trading skills to subvert democracy and come to power,” the state Congress tweeted. “People of Karnataka remember his disastrous tenure as CM between 2008-2011, which ended with BSY in Jail,” the tweet added. Condemning the BJP’s move, former Congress chief minister Siddarmaiah said Karnataka has become an experimental lab of the BJP. He tweeted, “Karnataka Assembly has become an experimental lab for Karnataka BJP and the BJP backed governor to try unconstitutional ways to form government. In what article of the constitution is the governor allowed to permit the party to form govt that doesn’t have majority? It is shame!!” He said the BJP has the strength of 105 which is way less than the half way mark. “In no way BJP can form the government if constitution is followed,” he said adding, this only proved that BJP has no belief in the democratic values. The JD(S) tweeted, “The strength of the house is 222 (after disqualification of three MLAs) and the half-way mark is 112. However, BS Yeddyurappa approached the governor saying that he has 105 MLAs with him.” The party said the Governor’s decision to permit Yeddyurappa to take oath without raising any doubt was anti-democratic. Proving majority in the assembly, winning the by-elections to seats vacated by the resignation of rebel Congress-JD(S) MLAs, and ministry formation will be an immediate challenge for Yeddyurappa, according to senior BJP leaders. Yeddyurappa has to play a balancing act by ensuring that those within the party are not sidelined, while also accommodating the rebel Congress-JD(S) legislators, whose resignation led to the collapse of the coalition government and helped the BJP to come to power, sources added.