No shelter for disabled gunshot victim on dialysis

UPDATE, 10/24/12: Great news! Today, my friend is moving to a very nice nursing facility where he will be able to have rehabilitation for the injuries he sustained when he was shot. My understanding is that he can stay there for as long as he needs to. Thank you to all who prayed for him! God answers prayer! :)

After more than a decade of ministering to homeless people, I’m accustomed to difficult situations and heartbreaking stories, but this one stands out. Posted today on our StreetWatch homeless outreach team’s Facebook page [slightly edited for clarity]:

Please pray for a disabled homeless man on dialysis who’s in the hospital — he was a victim of a drive-by shooting — and has nowhere to go upon discharge. He also has multiple other serious health problems. He recently stayed at Greensboro Urban Ministry’s shelter, whose rules do not allow him to return for six months. (We have asked for an exemption because of his circumstances, but it was denied.) He was shot on the street, shortly after his time ended at the shelter.

He needs to be in Greensboro to continue his dialysis. Because of his health problems and safety needs, it would be very dangerous for him to try to sleep outside again. His multiple complicate the situation, and thus far, social workers have not been able to find a place for him to go when he leaves the hospital.

He is eligible for a housing voucher or supportive housing program, but we are unaware of any openings in these programs. He’s had a hard life and he’s in a hard situation. We believe that God makes a way where there’s no way, and I’ve been visiting him and praying that with and for him. Please pray that with us! Thank you, friends.

Photos: 2012 Triad Stand Down for Homeless Veterans

The 6th annual Triad Stand Down for Homeless Veterans was held on Friday, September 28, 2012 at Westover Church in Greensboro. The mission of the Stand Down is “to provide social services to honorably discharged veterans of the United States Armed Forces, including employment services, transitional housing, wound care, mental health and other services through coordination with other agencies in the delivery of the these services. A hand up not a hand out.” Services provided included: medical screenings, blood-borne pathogen screenings, minor wound care, dental screenings and basic dental care, assistance with VA claims, assessing eligibility for services, mental health screening, substance abuse services, standard haircuts, educational assistance, clothing supply, socks, winter clothing, hot meals throughout the event and more.

My photos are below. You may also view the photos on our StreetWatch Facebook page to see the captions and comments. (No Facebook account required.)

Proposed Social Security rules change threatens benefits of seriously mentally ill people

From Bazelon Center for Mental Health Law Action Alerts:

The Social Security Administration (SSA) has proposed changes to the way decisions are made for awarding disability benefits based on a mental impairment. These changes will threaten the ability of people with serious mental illnesses to obtain benefits….

The changes appear in a regulation that would amend the “Medical Listings” -the standards that SSA uses to determine eligibility for Supplemental Security Income (SSI) and Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits. While the proposed new Listings include some very good features, these are undermined by a provision that could limit the number of people with mental illnesses who can qualify to only one or two percent of the nation’s population. This is far below even the most conservative estimate of the number whose mental health disability makes them unable to work (the criterion for eligibility for federal disability benefits) and who therefore need this monthly income.”

~ Read all of “Social Security Disability Rules to Change – for Better and Worse: Agency Needs to Hear from You” — then, take action!