Dear Dr. von Friedrichs-Fitzwater:
Dignity Health is please to support Joshua’s House, a hospice house for the terminally ill homeless, on the Loaves & Fishes campus in Sacramento. We are aware that, on average, one homeless person dies on the street every week in Sacramento Count and that number has steadily increase in the past few years. This translates into rates three times higher than the housed population in Sacramento County. Approximately 38% die alone on the streets and 35% die in emergency rooms or as inpatients.
Homelessness is a significant health concern in our region and we believe a hospice house is a much-needed addition to Sacramento’s continuum of care. No person should ever be forced to live their final days, weeks or months living on the streets without adequate access to services that provide comfort and dignity.
Dignity Health agrees that having a safe, comfortable, home-like facility for our terminally ill homeless neighbors where they would receive hospice case, have private rooms, regular meals and opportunities to interact with each other as well as caring volunteers would allow them to die with dignity and respect. The opportunity to keep their beloved pets with them is an added benefit.
Equally important, Joshua’s House would serve to significantly reduce healthcare costs while providing quality hospice care to those are terminally ill in the homeless community. Joshua’s house would provide a safe place for Dignity Health and other local hospitals to discharge terminally ill homeless patients with the knowledge that patients would receive quality hospice care! Hospice care significantly reduces the costs of re-occurring ambulance usage, ER visits and short terms hospital stays.
We are pleased to partner with you to bring much-needed hospice care to our homeless community and ensure that the poorest among us have an opportunity to die with dignity and respect.
Director, Community Health and Outreach