A homeless man from Surrey being discharged from Langley Memorial Hospital was sent via taxi to Hope’s emergency shelter, which just opened in October. Hope Standard file photo

Told ‘no’ twice by local shelter, homeless Surrey man sent to Hope anyways

Deemed medically stable, patient was taxied to Hope by hospital when a spot in Surrey wasn’t located

A homeless man from Surrey being discharged from Langley Memorial Hospital was put into a taxi and sent to Hope’s emergency shelter after front-line workers told the hospital’s social worker twice that they didn’t have room for the man.

“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 (HATS), which opened the emergency shelter in October of last year.

“A patient must be medically stable before being discharged from the hospital,” explained Tasleem Juma, senior consultant of public affairs for Fraser Health. And once discharged, every effort is made to send them back to their home community. In this case, Surrey, “but there was nothing available for them at the time.

“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 … (but) this has been a challenge across our region as we continue to care for our homeless population.”

But Dyble says neither the patient nor the shelter had agreed to the transfer, which occurred near the end of January.

“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.

“When he arrived, staff had to call paramedics, he couldn’t even stand up. We’re not an acute care centre.”

Dyble says the man was sent to the Fraser Canyon Hospital’s emergency room, however, as he was already medically stable there was nothing to be done for him, and he was again discharged back to the shelter.

“We did (eventually) support (his) transfer back to Surrey and into a local spot,” said Juma.

“He didn’t even know where he was (when he first arrived, but) he was very happy (to be home) was my understanding,” said Dyble.

And although it was a one-time event, Dyble says local hospital administrators have brought the issue to the attention of those in charge.

“They’ve been told, in no circumstances (are they) to repeat this policy, and (to) make sure all the staff has been notified at Fraser Health that (Hope) will not accept released (homeless) patients from (other) hospitals,” said mayor Peter Robb at the March 11 council meeting.

However, now that the weather’s warming up, Dyble says the public may notice “more homeless people out in the community, in tents at the river,” or in other spots in town, and HATS’ homeless outreach team is available to bridge connections and help those in need connect with the services that would be of most use by calling 604-869-1880.

HATS also has an up and coming volunteer training session or those who want to learn how to help Hope’s homeless at the ground level.

For more information about HATS, or their upcoming session, please email info@HopeTransition.org.


 

@SarahGawdin on Twitter
SarahGawdin on Instagram
Sarah.Gawdin@HopeStandard.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Langley youth: school district hosts interagency forum to help kids

Key issues included substance use, disconnected youth, social media, and creating an ethic of care

PHOTOS: Langley councillor provides inside look of Aldergrove’s Alder Inn

Bedbugs and other marks of disrepair lead Eric Woodward to argue against its preservation

Dozen impaired drivers caught on first weekend of Langley RCMP CounterAttack

Police also rounded up speeders and unlicensed drivers

VIDEO: Giants fall 3-1 to Victoria in mid-week Island game

The major junior hockey team is back at home in Langley for a toy drive and Santa singalong Friday

VIDEO: Federal Liberals’ throne speech welcomes opposition’s ideas

Trudeau will need NDP or Bloc support to pass legislation and survive confidence votes

VIDEO: John Lennon’s iconic Rolls Royce rolls into Vancouver Island college for checkup

Royal BC Museum, Camosun College and Coachwerks Restorations come together to care for car

VIDEO: Rockslide closes part of Highway 93 in Fairmont Hot Springs

Geotechnical team called in to do an assessment after rocks fell from hoodoos

Chilliwack mom gives back to neonatal unit with Christmas stocking drive

Ashley Durance is paying it forward to other families and their babies following daughter’s NICU stay

Petition calls for appeal of ex-Burns Lake mayor’s sentence for sex assault

Prosecution service says Luke Strimbold’s case is under review

Northwest B.C. wildlife shelter rescues particularly tiny bear cub

Shelter co-founder says the cub weighs less than a third of what it should at this time of year

BC firefighters to help battle Australian bushfires

Canada sent 22 people, including 7 from B.C.

B.C. NDP touts the end of MSP premiums

Horgan, James held news conference to reiterate that people will get their last bill this month

Illicit drug deaths down, but B.C. coroner says thousands still overdose

Chief coroner Life Lapointe says province’s drug supply remains unpredictable

Most Read