Brother Francis Shelter provides its guests with a number of services and supportive programs to help them transition out of homelessness. These programs highlight the medical care at the shelter.
The medical respite program provides a space for the self-care and recuperation that patients discharged from medical facilities would have in their own homes. With the guiding Catholic Social Services’ principles of reverence for humanity, striving for excellence, empowering personal fulfillment, and strengthening community through collaboration, Brother Francis Shelter set forth the mission of a new program, as of April 2017, to provide the opportunity for rest and care to the homeless patient-guests who otherwise would have been discharged to the street or to an unequipped emergency shelter program.
This new program is called Medical Respite. Here, patient-guests are provided continued supportive case management services to address their homelessness. Patient-guests recovering from acute physical ailments or injury have access to a space to recuperate on a short-term basis.
Initial data from our pilot Medical Respite program had show that approximately 80% of individuals involved in the program did not return to homelessness after staying in respite.
The Brother Francis Shelter Medical Respite program is a collaborative effort between Catholic Social Services and local healthcare organizations to provide onsite respite care within its social service model to men and women experiencing homelessness in Anchorage; furthering the Catholic Social Services mission of compassionately serving the poor and those in need, strengthening individuals and families, and advocating for social justice.
Currently the program accepts referrals from hospitals (inpatient discharges and emergency departments). Each patient-guest may stay with the Medical Respite Program for as long as their acute health conditions warrant their placement within the program.
The program provides 24-hour access to a bed in a furnished semi-private room, 3 meals a day, a common area with a television, home healthcare if eligible, and intensive case management services.
Medical Care at Brother Francis Shelter
Five days a week during the day and on a few evenings each week Brother Francis Shelter guests have access to healthcare on site. Currently the clinics deals with: acute illnesses, wound care & skin infections, laceration repair, injuries, cough/colds/flu, sore throats, UTIs and more.
Through a partnership with Southcentral Foundation, access to healthcare at Brother Francis Shelter was expanded. Monday through Friday from 8AM-5PM, a regular certified physician assistant and support staff treat all guests in need of healthcare at no cost. The provider can also make referrals to other providers as well as transportation to medical appointments, to retrieve prescriptions and deal with medical emergencies.
Through a partnership with Providence Family Practice, volunteer medical providers from the community donate their time and expertise to meet the medical needs of shelter guests. Not only do guests have instant access to healthcare, practitioners connect guests to more consistent and regular care through the Daytime Clinic.
Medicaid Enrollment & Empanelment
Working with Anchorage Neighborhood Health Center and Southcentral Foundation, Medicaid Enrollment and empaneling is offered on site at the shelter.
Twice monthly, specially-trained volunteers from St. Patrick’s Parish and wound care nurses attend to feet of shelter guests in order to facilitate the healing of acute or chronic wounds.
Healthcare and Homelessness Partnership
Catholic Social Services is honored to be a part of the groundbreaking partnership with major Anchorage hospitals and community and city partners who came together to work on ending homelessness. The new space for Medical Respite and renovations to the Caring Clinic at Brother Francis Shelter addresses healthcare among those in great need and the rising service costs for all Alaskans.
Healthcare & Homelessness Partnership:
- Catholic Social Services’ Brother Francis Shelter
- Alaska Native Tribal Health Consortium
- Alaska Regional Hospital
- Providence Health & Services Alaska
- Southcentral Foundation
- Anchorage Neighborhood Health Center
- Municipality of Anchorage
“Over a year ago our board adopted the strategic focus of preventing and ending homelessness in our community, and this is a critical piece if we’re going to end homelessness in our community. There is still more work to do, but a strong partnership like this gives us a step forward in solving the problem because everyone is at the table,” said Lisa Aquino, CSS Executive Director, at the April 2017 dedication event for the Medical Respite and Expanded Clinic projects.
The program offers 10 beds for medically fragile individuals to recuperate from an acute illness or injury, and Providence Health & Services Alaska provides skilled home care services to Brother Francis Shelter patient-guests.
The Caring Clinic for basic medical care has been run by volunteers at Brother Francis Shelter for over 30 years, with medical professionals providing basic healthcare needs for guests on their own time. Southcentral Foundation worked in partnership with Catholic Social Services to expand hours at the Clinic and support a healthcare provider regularly for all clients at Brother Francis Shelter.
Finally, the expanded Caring Clinic makes it easier and more accessible for guests at Brother Francis Shelter to seek medical treatment, but for appointments that must be conducted at the hospital—like x-rays and other exams—we are looking to have transportation available.
The design, construction, and high-grade renovations for both the Medical Respite program and the Caring Clinic were provided at no cost to Brother Francis Shelter. “The volume of work that went into the clinic space and the Medical Respite workspace is beyond anything expected, and we are grateful for the tremendous amount of time and resources that went into this project,” said Lisa Aquino.
|Brother Francis Shelter Medical Respite
Providence Health & Services Alaska
Davis Constructors & Engineers, Inc.
Cook Inlet Housing Authority
Other generous donors
|Brother Francis Shelter Caring Clinic
Neeser Construction, Inc.
Spark Design, LLC
Cook Inlet Housing Authority
Other generous donors
This project is possible thanks to the support from Alaskans like you. This partnership would not have come to fruition without a supportive community that prioritizes addressing homelessness in Alaska.