Interim Care Program Gives Homeless People Place to Recuperate

In the past, when a homeless person was released from a hospital stay, they had to recuperate on the streets, out in the elements. Their conditions did not improve like it would have if they recuperated in a bed in a house. Often their conditions worsened and they were soon re-admitted into the hospital.

Two and a half years ago an Interim Care program was established at Salvation Army’s B Street location. This program is a collaboration of four hospitals, the County of Sacramento, Salvation Army and The Effort. Before, hospitals had 2 choices – to release the patient out on the streets or to keep the patient in the hospital for an extended period of time, which was extremely more expensive than an investment in the interim program. The four hospitals, Sutter, Kaiser, Mercy and UC Davis contribute $65,000 each and the County contributes $120,000. Salvation Army provides the space and beds and The Effort also staffs the program. Sometimes the hospital will have to keep a patient a bit longer until a bed opens up at Salvation Army.

300 people have been helped in the two and a half years Salvation Army’s Interim Care Program has been in existence. There are 18 beds available and patients are allowed to stay for 6 weeks. They are served breakfast, lunch and dinner. Nurses visit every weekday and are on call on weekends.

Their stay in the program also affords time to help them find transitional or permanent housing, which is one of the program’s mission. Another important outcome is a partnership model that can be duplicated elsewhere and between different types of institutions.