According to Texas Health Resources Foundation President Laura McWhorter,
“I’ve worked for Texas Health Resources Foundation for many years. I’ve seen a lot of wonderful projects that have truly changed the lives of people in our community.
“There is one project, though, that has caught my heart in a way I can’t quite explain. It’s called Health to Home and it’s aimed at ending the cycle of homelessness for some of our city’s most unfortunate. If I could have one wish this holiday season, it would be for financial contributions to enable this program to help more of our area’s homeless.
“The program is a partnership between Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital Dallas, Austin Street Center and CitySquare of Dallas and is dedicated to helping the homeless who are dealing with significant health problems. Imagine getting a much-needed surgery or other treatment and then, upon release from the hospital, you try to recover while living on the streets. There was no hope for these people.
“Now there is hope. The Health to Home program includes a Medical Respite Center, a nine-bed unit housed inside the Austin Street homeless shelter with medical care provided by Texas Health Dallas. The target audience is adult males who would benefit from medical oversight as they recuperate from injuries and learn how to manage their diseases. While in the clinic, clients receive social work and housing assistance.
“As we know, homelessness can happen to almost anyone. For example, a 52-year-old truck driver became homeless when cancer in the backbone prevented him from working. While at the Medical Respite Center, he completed his course of chemotherapy and received needed nutrition support, transportation to all medical appointments, a bed suitable for his back brace, and was approved for housing.
“What stood out to me about this program was the dignity it offered to these unfortunate souls. A second chance when once there was no hope. And there may be no greater gift than hope.”