"I’ll honor who you are and come to you." October 23, 2011 9:55 PMSubscribe
Dr. Jim Withers 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...