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"I’ll honor who you are and come to you."
October 23, 2011 9:55 PM Subscribe
Dr. Jim Withers
posted by flex (28 comments total)
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practices street medicine
in Pittsburgh, PA. Operation Safety Net
provides house calls
to the homeless
- to meet them on their terms
.Withers notes that Operation Safety Net, the group he founded in 1993 with a $50,000 startup grant from the Sisters of Mercy, does more these days than fund street medicine and operate homeless shelters. With the assistance of local government, charitable foundations, corporate sponsors and individual donors, the group is also finding permanent housing for the chronically homeless... According to one study from the 1990s, the group’s work with the homeless saves between $200,000 and $300,000 per year in emergency-room costs at local hospitals.
What little money Withers makes comes mostly from grants and teaching at a medical school. But he doesn't think about money. In fact, he doesn't think at all like a typical doctor. "The essence of healthcare is going to where people are. Either physically or even more importantly spiritually, emotionally," he said...
"You know, if I could I'd write a prescription for a house for all the street people because it is immensely important for health," Withers said.
...Over the years, Operation Safety Net has been able to help so many that today homelessness in Pittsburgh is literally half the problem it used to be - half as many people on the streets.
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