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Center for Respite Care is a National Model

CINCINNATI (WKRC) -- A local care center that helps the homeless is getting national recognition for a program that works to keep people off the streets. Medical reporter Liz Bonis explains how in today's Medical Edge.

James Stallworth spent years in service to his country, "I was in vietnam for 21 months."

Following that however, he says he fell on some tough times. James not only lost his home, he lost his health. "I ended up in the hospital for a month, a nursing home for a month, had to learn how to walk again."

Rather than going back to the streets, two months ago James was lucky enough to be transferred to the Center for Respite Care. Mary Beth Meyer is the executive director, "the Center for Respite Care is a 24-hour facility for people who are homeless, and who are sick , they typically come here after a hospital stay, and they usually spend a month or two recovering from whatever medical issues that they have.

The Center was recently recognized as a model that works and was given the national Medical Respite Award for Excellence. The award goes to programs that help the homeless, not just recover, but also move on and become productive with their lives.

While this facility has just 14 beds, as you might imagine they are almost always full, what makes them unique however , and a role model for the rest of the country is that they have some pretty startling statistics. 90 percent of them go on to treatment facilities or permanent houses, that's three times higher than on average what happens in the rest of the country.

Dr Meyer says "we have a housing program that is 43 beds, we help them find apartments around the city, and HUD pays for their rent while we help them become stabilized."  That stabilization means a lot to a team that provides everything from  from medical care, to mental health help.

It also means a lot to James Stallworth, who says his spirit is back, "I want to tell them thank you, I tell them that every day."





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