Transitional Food and Shelter
One of the most important things that you can give someone in a time of need is a roof over the head. Having basic comforts like somewhere to sleep, somewhere to drop your stuff off, and somewhere to be safe, can change a person’s outlook and help them take that next step to self-sufficiency. Especially those who are currently homeless with a medical condition, having the ability to feel like you can comfortably recuperate and become better can greatly impact a person’s ability and willingness to heal.
In San Luis Obispo County, California, one such program is aiming to provide those in temporary need that comfort and stability. Transitional Food and Shelter (TFS) is a temporary emergency shelter for medically fragile homeless persons.
They provide 24 hour shelter to individuals with a verified medical condition living out on the streets. They also provide shelter to persons who have entered a hospice care program where the objective of the program is to support a quality end of life plan. By partnering with local social agencies and hospital caseworkers for referrals, TFS is able to provide quality and consistent services for those with medical needs.
TFS available shelters consist of local motel rooms for short term client stays of 28 days or less and leased shelter apartments for mid and long term stays of 1-12 months. TFS does not provide any medical care, caregivers, or transportation to persons during their stay. Therefore, TFS encourages and mandates persons admitted into the program to continue working with agency partners and case workers to move towards recovery and self-sufficiency. TFS does provide recovery coaches for their mid-term and long term stay clients who help set action plans to find sustainable housing.
Cindy was 56 and working as a Registered Nurse when she learned that her father was terminally ill and wanted to be able to spend his final days in his home. She left her job to care for her father with the intention of going back to work afterwards. Soon after her father passed away, Cindy began to notice some changes occurring in her vision and hearing which prevented her from returning to work and she was having difficulty walking due to bad hips. After exhausting her savings and learning that she needed to have both of her hips replaced, Cindy began sleeping in her car outside of a homeless shelter (because the shelter was full).
The homeless shelter submitted an application to Transitional Food and Shelter for Cindy in the hopes that TFS would be able to provide housing for Cindy while she underwent her hip replacements and looked for permanent housing. Cindy was able to live in one of TFS’ apartments for 18 months while she went through the process of finding a doctor that would accept her insurance and began the process of setting up her hip surgeries. It was during that process when she was also diagnosed with breast cancer. Although her hips were in bad shape, Cindy opted to have a mastectomy and chemotherapy first. She was just through the recovery of that when an opportunity opened for her to move into her own place, which she quickly responded too.
It’s now been just over two years since Cindy was first put in touch with Transitional Food and Shelter, and she has had both of her hips replaced, lives on her own and is able to cover all of her monthly expenses.
How You Can Help
TFS is an all volunteer run support program. That means that all money raised goes directly to supporting their clients. Which is important as short term stays for clients at motels can run from $59-$75 per night and up to $3750 for mid to long term stays. It is vitally important that, to address the needs of their clients, they need to make sure that the housing is funded for a client's full stay.
Your contributions playing ZomBees will go to helping this wonderful organization have the resources necessary to help those individuals on the streets who are looking for somewhere to rest their heads. You will be able to help more people like Cindy have more success stories and better improve their lives.
You can learn more about Transitional Food and Shelter at their website nowheretogo.com.