Serving the terminally ill homeless
The Health Communication Research Institute, Inc. (HCRI, Inc.) is a 501, c, 3 nonprofit organizations founded in 1989 with a mission to improve doctor/patient communication, specifically around end-of-life conversations, and to strengthen patient-centered care with mutual health-related decision-making.
Over the years, the focus has evolved to the social determinates of illnesses and the reduction of health and health care disparities. As homelessness increased across the USA, HCRI, Inc. found that the most underserved population of all – the homeless – was experiencing more untreated chronic diseases, little preventative care and even less palliative/hospice care.
The result – more people dying on the streets of this country from cancer, diabetes, heart disease, infections, liver disorders, HIV/AIDS and hepatitis C. The effects of living unsheltered significantly ages homeless men and women and prevents the effective treatment and management of chronic illness. Homeless individuals are dying younger and have higher mortality/morbidity rates than housed chronically ill individuals
In 2015, HCRI, Inc. began a new journey – to create a hospice house for the terminally ill homeless in Sacramento, CA – Joshua’s House – in memory of a young man, Joshua Lee (1980-2014), who had a vision of preventing those homeless men and women who were seriously and terminally ill from dying alone, scared and in pain on the streets or along the rivers of our community.
We are using a community-based approach with an Advisory Board comprised of representatives from local hospitals; hospice programs; California State University, Sacramento; University of California, Davis, School of Medicine and School of Nursing; organizations that focus on housing for the homeless; medical clinics; as well as the homeless community.
Please join us in helping to educate the public about homelessness and health, increase awareness around the plight of chronically ill homeless men and women; raise money to support Joshua’s House and the Sacramento Street Medicine Program; and volunteer your services and skills to bring our vision into reality.
“Anna suffered from multiple chronic diseases much of her life, which eventually led to her death. She became homeless when her epilepsy was too much for employers to handle and she was evicted from her apartment. She then developed lung cancer. Her biggest fear was always to die alone, like she never existed. Sadly, she did.”
No person should ever be forced to live their final days, weeks or months on the streets without
adequate access to services that provide comfort and dignity.Darrell Steinberg