I’ve decided that at this point, besides the conversations that are taking place about making a medical shelter a reality in Madison, all I can do about this aspect of homelessness is to continue to blog about it.
A guy showed up at our doors around 4:00 this afternoon. This is his story. He’d been released from Meriter Hospital earlier in the day and sent to the VA. They sent him on to the Men’s Drop-In Shelter at Grace, telling him that he would be able to get in at 4:30 pm. Wrong. To be blunt, they don’t even have basic information about shelter hours. One wonders whether they lack other information that might have provided a more comfortable room for him tonight.
Our staff had brought him into the warm to wait and rest. He was weak, barely able to stand, let alone walk. How will he fare overnight? What will happen for him tomorrow? Does anyone in the VA, Madison’s hospitals or medical community, or even the homeless agencies care enough to try to address the larger issues? I’m not sure I can bear witnessing another episode like this.
As I have written about repeatedly on this blog, incidents like this take place more often than anyone in our county or city government know. They take place more often than I know. I learn about them only when I encounter someone like this man who has been released directly from a hospital to the shelter, and arrives before the shelter opens. What I do know is the pain and suffering in all those who have had to make the transition from a hospital bed to the homeless shelter. I also am well aware of my bleeding heart. Does anyone else’s heart bleed?