Supporting Health and Wellness through Housing Stability
Tuesday, October 24, 2023
Barnes-Jewish Hospital and The Foundation for Barnes-Jewish Hospital recognize that health and wellness are driven by extraordinary hospital care — as well as access to community-based social service resources. To address the growing number of non-medical patient visits to the emergency department, Hospital to Housing (H2H) was launched in 2019 as a housing-first health care intervention through a partnership between St. Patrick Center, LIV Recovery Sober Living, Behavioral Health Network of Greater St. Louis, and Barnes-Jewish Hospital, with initial and ongoing funding from The Foundation for Barnes-Jewish Hospital.
H2H provides comprehensive case management services to unhoused adults experiencing behavioral health disorders in need of long-term social services support. The program supports 50 patients annually, with a growing waitlist. Since the program started, non-medical emergency room visits have declined. Recently, H2H received additional federal funding from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration to expand the program and add additional community partners.
A recent program participant named Greg* shared his story about the impact H2H has had on his life:
Greg* was a frequent patient in the emergency department at Barnes-Jewish Hospital. He also didn't have a home, and he stayed with people who were putting too many conditions on his ability to live with them.
"It was a difficult situation, and I felt like it was going nowhere,” Greg says. “One day, when I was in the hospital, one of the social workers started talking to me about finding some housing."
Motivated to get sober and have a place of his own, Greg joined the H2H program and within a few days was placed in housing. A couple of months later, he graduated from the program and moved into other long-term housing. Greg says he was motivated to move on so he could give someone else the opportunity to get off the streets.
"I now support myself, pay my own bills, and am so thankful to have a place of my own," Greg adds. ''The good start I was given was just what I needed to get on my feet and become independent."
Greg’s story demonstrates the impact of this holistic approach on health and well-being, as well as the importance of being partners with the community. Learn more about the launch of this program in a past Foundation story.
*Name changed to preserve anonymity.