Medical respite center for homeless reopens after hitatus


A local medical respite for homeless people in Charlotte is reopening after a three-month hiatus. 

Samaritan House provides resources to the homeless community in need of medical attention. 

While they don’t provide direct medical care, they do provide resources such as social workers to connect patients with health insurance, a place to stay and three meals a day so patients can focus on healing in a safe environment and preventing further complications. 

Unhoused or uninsured people can place financial burdens on their community, Rodney Tucker, Executive Director of Samaritan House, said. 

It costs around $1,500 each day an unhoused person stays in the hospital, but only around $150 per day at Samaritan House, Tucker told QCity Metro. 

The center also allows more hospital beds to be free to other people with more immediate needs rather than being held for unhoused people trying to heal.

While the Samaritan House was closed, many homeless people had nowhere to heal while in post-hospital recovery. 

“I’ve had 10 voicemails this morning of people who are looking for housing,” Tucker said. “It’s sad. It’s hard to tell people no.” 

Renovations

Through the help of the Charlotte community, Samaritan House has been able to raise $451,000 — exceeding the original goal of $200,000 — since launching its “Save Our Home” capital campaign in April 2023. The funds have helped to restore normal operations at the facility.

A total of $95,000 in renovations have been made to the respite center, Tucker said.

Some of these renovations include updated painting and making the home more accessible overall through carpeting on ramps, installing showers, handicap buttons on doors and wider door frames. 

The center also received an updated HVAC system, with improvements in the bedrooms that cost around $12,000, he said.

A $6,000 handicap-accessible door was installed as well. 

Rooms were also redesigned to be more accommodating for people who use wheelchairs or walkers. 

A third living room area was also added, allowing more patients to enjoy the common space and television. 

Tucker said the center also received furniture from various local businesses. 

Assist M.E. NC, an organization that provides medical equipment to uninsured and underinsured Charlotte residents, donated hospital beds that accommodate up to 300 pounds. 

Tucker told QCity Metro the center had to turn away some patients because of weight limits. Having these hospital beds allows more patients to be seen.

Last year, Tucker said, the organization served 81 people and hopes to serve 125 this year.

Tucker QCity Metro that $100,000 of the money raised will be placed into the organization’s cash reserves to prevent a financial need to close again. 

The rest of the funds raised will be used for maintaining day-to-day functions, such as light and water bills.

Future plans

The center is expected to reopen intake on July 17.

Tucker also said there will be a “phase 2” for renovations by the end of the year that include replacing windows. 

Donate and visit

Samaritan House, located at 611 Fortune Street, will host a public tour with a special dedication on July 11 from 5 to 7 p.m.
Samaritan House is still accepting donations and seeking volunteers.



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