Submitted by Sharon Davidson

Recently, BBH staff partnered together to assist one of our hospice patients in Gadsden County. The patient had been living in a van in the Quincy Walmart parking lot for two months when he was referred for hospice services. The BBH Admissions team laid the groundwork for the patient to go to a homeless shelter. 

The BBH Social Worker visited the patient in the parking lot on Monday night. He was an older gentleman with a sweet spirit and dancing blue eyes. During their conversation, she learned that he was a Veteran and due to unforeseen circumstances had found himself homeless. Together, they called a local shelter, which was warm and welcoming. The patient accepted their offer for room and board with hospice care.  However, the patient was not able to drive his van because of vision impairment and would not leave his van even for one night.  He decided to stay there for the evening which allowed the social worker time to put a plan in place for transfer the van the next day.

First, the social worker requested assistance from the BBH Volunteer Coordinator with transferring the patient and his van from the parking lot to the shelter.  They received approval from the BBH Foundation to cover the towing cost.  Next, the social worker contacted BBH’s Transportation Coordinator.  She worked with the Gadsden Team Manager and arranged to transport the patient to the shelter.

At noon, the social worker met with the patient in the parking lot to explain the plans for transporting him and his van to the shelter. The patient was in a good mood, he said BBH Spiritual Counselor had stopped by earlier that morning and they had a great visit. Miraculously, the tow truck and BBH’s Transportation Team arrived within 15 minutes of each other. Once the patient’s van was on its way, the patient was assisted into the BBH transport van and was on his way to the shelter. 

Later that afternoon, the Volunteer Coordinator visited the patient at the and took him a blanket made by BBH volunteers. The Social Worker coordinated with triage nurse to make a call and have the on-call nurse make a visit to check on the patient that evening. 

Because of the special BBH spirit and teamwork, the patient was successfully transferred to a place with safe housing and three meals a day where he is continues to be under the care of the BBH.