Hope and Area Transition Society homeless shelter. (Hope Standard file)

Fraser Health under fire again for taxiing homeless man from Langley to Hope

Patient sent to Hope shelter because a spot in the man’s home community couldn’t be located

A homeless man was discharged from Langley Memorial Hospital, put into a taxi and sent to Hope’s emergency shelter despite shelter workers saying they didn’t have room for him.

“We don’t take in people from other communities as policy. We have enough people of our own to take care of,” said Gerry Dyble, executive director of the Hope and Area Transition Society, which opened an emergency shelter last October.

Neither the patient nor the shelter agreed to the transfer, which occurred near the end of January, he added.

“They called and we said no, we don’t have room. Usually the conversation ends there, but they called back again and we said no again. Then the taxi arrived with him in it.”

Staff had to call 9-1-1, Dyble said. “He couldn’t even stand up. We’re not an acute care centre.”

The man was taken to Fraser Canyon Hospital, but he was already medically stable, so he was discharged back to the shelter.

READ MORE: Fraser Health taxied Surrey homeless patients to Chilliwack shelters, mayor says

Fraser Health spokesperson Tasleem Juma said staff made every effort to find the man a spot in his home community of Surrey, but none was available.

“Our social workers do everything they can to support a discharged patient’s transition home. In cases where the individual does not have a home to return to, our staff work with them to find a suitable alternative and support them in their transition once they agree to it,” Juma said. “This has been a challenge across our region as we continue to care for our homeless population.”

Fraser Health has been under fire recently after two patients were discharged from Surrey Memorial Hospital and sent by taxi to a shelter in Chilliwack. Mayor Ken Popove demanded to know why that was appropriate, given the patients still needing medical care and the fact Chilliwack has its own homeless population to support.

Juma said the man was eventually transferred back to a shelter in Surrey.

‘That’s startling’: Horgan reacts to claims of homeless patients being sent to Chilliwack

Dyble said local hospital administrators have brought the issue to the attention of those in charge.

Said Hope Mayor Peter Robb at a council meeting earlier this month: “They’ve been told, in no circumstances to repeat this policy, and make sure all the staff has been notified at Fraser Health that [Hope] will not accept released patients from [other] hospitals.”

With the weather warming up, Dyble said the public may see more homeless people out in the community, in tents at the river or in other spots in town, and that the society’s homeless outreach team is available to help those in need.

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Comments are closed

Just Posted

Memorial set for one of three found dead at Langley house fire

Father wants the community to know the “amazing” person who’s been lost

Langley Lodge’s deadly outbreak declared over

Fraser Health and long-term care home administrator confirm Friday declaration

Aldergrove moms orchestrate class photo for Kindergarten grads after COVID-19 school shutdown

Five year olds at Parkside Elementary got one final reunion to wrap up their school year cut short

Police arsenal deployed in Langley to avoid potentially violent situation

Mounties arrest armed Vancouver man after Tasering him on Willoughby side street

Langley Blaze back on the field but only for practices

New camera system allows families and colleges to watch ball players

13 new B.C. COVID-19 cases, Langley Lodge outbreak ends

Health care outbreaks down to four, 162 cases active

Greater Vancouver home sales start to tick up, with prices holding steady

Residential sales last month reached 2,443, a 64.5 per cent jump from May

PHOTOS: South Surrey tractor project evokes ‘$1-million smile,’ helps connect neighbours

Retired Surrey firefighter Ron Henze began project for friend’s dad to fill time during pandemic

Alberta health minister orders review into response after noose found in hospital in 2016

A piece of rope tied into a noose was found taped to the door of an operating room at the Grande Prairie Hospital in 2016

B.C.’s major rivers surge, sparking flood warnings

A persistent low pressure system over Alberta has led to several days of heavy rain

B.C.’s Indigenous rights law faces 2020 implementation deadline

Pipeline projects carry on as B.C. works on UN goals

Search continues for person seen floating in Coquihalla River in Hope

Rescuers halted the search Thursday night as darkness fell

‘Mind boggling’: B.C. man $1 million richer after winning Lotto 6/49 a second time

David O’Brien hopes to use his winnings to travel and of course keep playing the lottery

Most Read