While I was serving in a church-based urban missions program here in Greensboro, a homeless client showed up at the door one day wearing scrubs. He had just been discharged from the hospital and sent to the church in a taxi, without any notification or assurance that there were services available to him. I remember being shocked. I didn’t know then what I know now. It happens here and across the nation.
Many communities are including a “zero tolerance for discharge to homelessness” policy in their Ten Year Plans to End Homelessness. This means that institutions such as hospitals and jails will have to have a discharge plan in place, including housing, before discharging individuals from their care. Isn’t it weird that somebody has to make a policy to prevent somebody else from dumping a human being? Like we don’t know better without a policy? What a world.