PENSACOLA, Fla. (WKRG) — After Pensacola councilwoman Jennifer Brahier said hospitals dropped the ball on homelessness, one out of three hospitals WKRG News 5 reached out to has responded.
Brahier told WKRG News 5 she has been taking care of her daughter’s friend who suffered a stroke, is non-verbal, can’t move half of her body, was discharged from a local hospital and placed on the doorstep of Reentry Alliance Pensacola.
Today, Baptist Health released a statement about their discharge policy when it comes to homeless or disabled patients.
“At discharge, we work with patients to determine individual needs and provide information about available community resources, including shelters,” The statement said. “With patient permission, we will attempt to contact family members or friends willing to help. The patient has the right to accept or decline the resources offered. If the patient chooses to go to a shelter, we try to confirm space availability and help ensure they arrive safely. For those who lack capacity to make these decisions for themselves, we initiate steps to secure resources for an appropriate solution.”
On Wednesday, Brahier told WKRG News 5 that the hospital where her daughter’s friend was staying was going to take her to a very “iffy” hotel and leave her there, if she would have had her I.D.
“She couldn’t open her medicines, she couldn’t get food for herself, and I just can’t tell you how many things like that she is dealing with,” Brahier said. “My son-in-law said to the workers, ‘Do you hear what you’re saying? What is she going to if she is in an emergency?’ They told him that she needs to call 911. She is non-verbal. The only thing that stopped her from going there that night was that she didn’t have an I.D.”
When asked what the city can do to reign in the hospitals, Brahier said she doesn’t know at this point.
“As we are struggling to find the appropriate method to handle homelessness, none of us saw this as a contributing factor in the way it may be,” Brahier said. “When we suggested that REAP move one of their facilities into a respite facility, so that they could handle people that were being discharged, we weren’t imagining someone in such a desperate situation. The hospitals went from absolute full care, to dropping her off at the doorstep of REAP.”