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

Warrant issued for Chilliwack prolific offender

Do not attempt to apprehend David Allen Geoghegan, 29, police caution

Chilliwack family’s dog missing after using online pet-sitting service

Frankie the pit bull bolted and hit by a car shortly after drop off through Rover.com

VIDEO: New supportive housing in Chilliwack almost ready to welcome residents

Grand opening Friday saw dignitaries join with health, policing, and housing reps on Trethewey

Man who once killed a fellow inmate convicted of threatening guard at Kent

No prison time for threat nine years after MMA-style beating death in Maple Ridge

BREAKING: Vehicle fire on Highway 1 between Chilliwack and Abbotsford

One westbound lane blocked after 11:30 a.m. on Friday leading to traffic delays

Family of B.C. man killed in hit-and-run plead for tips, one year later

Cameron Kerr’s family says the driver and passengers tried to cover their tracks

VIDEO: B.C. man trapped under ATV for days shows promise at Victoria hospital

Out of induced coma, 41-year-old is smiling, squeezing hands and enjoying sunshine

Ski resorts selling mountain water is a risky move, critics say

Alberta allowed ski resort in Kananaskis Country to sell about 50 million litres to third party

Sportsnet looks at new options for Coach’s Corner time slot, post-Don Cherry

Spokesperson says Hall of Fame feature on tap this weekend after co-host’s firing

Grand Forks residents protest on bridge to call for ‘fair’ compensation after 2018 floods

Demonstrators also criticized how long it has taken to be offered land deals

B.C. taxi drivers no longer exempt from wearing a seatbelt

Before, taxi drivers were allowed to forego a seatbelt when driving under 70 kilometres an hour

Car dash covered in papers not an excuse for speeding, Delta police warn

After pulling driver over for speeding, police found his speedometer blocked by a stack of papers

B.C. woman seeks return of jewelry box containing father’s cremated remains

Sicamous RCMP report handmade box was stolen from a storage locker

Vancouver police officer charged with sexual assault in apparent off-duty incident

Jagraj Roger Berar, 51, of Surrey, charged in incident alleged to have happened in Whistler

Most Read