Women experiencing homelessness in the Upstate who are too sick to stay in a regular shelter but not sick enough to be in a hospital will now have a safe place to rest, recover and receive medical support.
In 2019, New Horizon Family Health Services (NHFHS) and Miracle Hill Ministries partnered to open South Carolina’s first-ever in-shelter Medical Respite Care Program inside the Greenville Rescue Mission, an emergency shelter for men. Over 30 individuals have participated in the program which offers six medical respite beds.
NHFHS and Miracle Hill Ministries have expanded their partnership to launch a Medical Respite Care Program at Miracle Hill Ministries’ Shepherd’s Gate, a safe shelter for women and mothers with young children who are experiencing homelessness. The program offers four medical respite beds for women experiencing homelessness who are identified as needing transitional medical support. NHFHS will provide clinical and other professional staff and oversight.
“We are pleased to continue our partnership with Miracle Hill Ministries to further serve some of the most vulnerable in our community. Women experiencing homelessness deserve a safe place to receive medical attention and continue their recovery when they no longer require hospitalization,” said Regina M. Mitchell, New Horizon Family Health Services President and Chief Executive Officer.
Ryan Duerk, Miracle Hill’s CEO states: “We recognize the value of partnering with other organizations to better serve the needy and hurting people in our community. As a ministry we envision the Upstate of South Carolina to have sufficient resources and services that are Christ centered and accessible for all who are experiencing homelessness. Opening this new respite care unit brings us closer to this goal.”
In 2021, NHFHS was awarded $255,400 by the CDC Foundation (CDCF), in partnership with the National Institute for Medical Respite Care (NIMRC), for expansion of NHFHS’ Medical Respite Care Program. The funds are part of $1.6 million in grants awarded to nine existing and emerging medical respite programs across the country.
NHFHS’ Health Care for the Homeless Program works closely with Upstate homeless shelters and other health and human service organizations to serve over 2,600 patients in 13 counties using a 35-foot mobile medical unit at strategic collaborative partner agency locations. Services include primary care, dental services, mental health and substance abuse services and access to prescription medications. People experiencing homelessness may also receive services at NHFHS’ medical office locations in Greenville, Greer or Travelers Rest, as well as their dental office in downtown Greenville.