Serving the terminally ill homeless
LETTER OF SUPPORT: PETER TATEISHI, PRESIDENT/CEO, METRO CHAMBER OF COMMERCE
Dear Dr. von Friederichs-Fitzwater:
On behalf of the Sacramento Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce (Metro Chamber) and our 1,700 member businesses located throughout our six-county Capital Region, the Metro Chamber is pleased to support Joshua’s House, a hospice house for the terminally ill homeless, in Sacramento. We are aware that, on average, one homeless
person dies on the streets every week in Sacramento County and that number has steadily increased 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. Cardiovascular disease and
internal disease (AIDS, cancer, etc.) account for more than 20% of deaths in this population.
Homeless is a visible and costly issue in the Capital region. The Metro Chamber understands the importance of having a safe, comfortable, home-like facility for our terminally ill homeless neighbors where they would receive quality hospice care, have private rooms, receive healthy meals and have opportunities to interact with each other as well as with caring volunteers allowing them to die with dignity and respect. The opportunity to keep their pets with them will be an added benefit.
Equally important, Joshua’s House would serve to significantly reduce healthcare costs while providing quality hospice care to those who are terminally ill in the homeless community. The largest “service” cost for the city and county is the cost for the Fire Department to transport people experiencing homelessness in ambulances. Joshua’s House would provide a place for 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 sort term 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.