Housing IS Health

Cedric had been without a home for several months and his health had deteriorated to the point where he needed surgery and an extended recovery in the hospital. Determined to provide him with a safe discharge option, one of National Health Foundation’s (NHF) Pathway Recuperative Care’s partner hospitals referred him the recuperative care program so that he could fully heal before addressing his need for stable housing. He recovered and was placed in Bridge Housing while a permanent housing solution could be coordinated. He was reunited with his mother and has recently moved home.

After piloting the city’s first recuperative care program nearly 10 years ago in partnership with other community based organizations, NHF has been addressing homelessness by expanding on its recuperative care program to more effectively address this root cause of poor health. Housing is a key determinant of health as it defines a person’s ability to access the goods, services and infrastructure required to maintain health.

Since 2010, 2,781 individuals have been safely discharged from the hospital to Pathway Recuperative Care. Clients received 8,505 days of service that includes medical oversight and semi-private accommodations. 633 individuals now have a place to call home thanks to housing placement while 945 individuals now have access to county housing services after being confirmed in the Coordinated Entry System. One partner hospital network, Dignity Health, reported that only 4% of patients referred to Pathway Recuperative Care were readmitted to the hospital within 30 days of discharge. The reduction in hospital recidivism has helped hospitals and health care systems avoid $34M in costs.

“I am feeling incredibly blessed to have been at Pathway. After being in the hospital as long as I have, it was nice to reconnect with people,” shared Cedric. For NHF CEO and president, Kelly Bruno Nelson, cost savings generated by Pathway Recuperative Care are a plus but it is knowing that individuals are experiencing an interruption in homelessness that could potentially lead them to seek out the services they need to be housed, “We meet people where they are on their path to a home and we use our established partnerships to help make that connection to housing. We firmly believe that housing is health.”