Hope and Area Transition Society homeless shelter. (Hope Standard file)

Fraser Health under fire again for taxiing homeless man from Langley to Hope

Patient sent to Hope shelter because a spot in the man’s home community couldn’t be located

A homeless man was discharged from Langley Memorial Hospital, put into a taxi and sent to Hope’s emergency shelter despite shelter workers saying they didn’t have room for him.

“We don’t take in people from other communities as policy. We have enough people of our own to take care of,” said Gerry Dyble, executive director of the Hope and Area Transition Society, which opened an emergency shelter last October.

Neither the patient nor the shelter agreed to the transfer, which occurred near the end of January, he added.

“They called and we said no, we don’t have room. Usually the conversation ends there, but they called back again and we said no again. Then the taxi arrived with him in it.”

Staff had to call 9-1-1, Dyble said. “He couldn’t even stand up. We’re not an acute care centre.”

The man was taken to Fraser Canyon Hospital, but he was already medically stable, so he was discharged back to the shelter.

READ MORE: Fraser Health taxied Surrey homeless patients to Chilliwack shelters, mayor says

Fraser Health spokesperson Tasleem Juma said staff made every effort to find the man a spot in his home community of Surrey, but none was available.

“Our social workers do everything they can to support a discharged patient’s transition home. In cases where the individual does not have a home to return to, our staff work with them to find a suitable alternative and support them in their transition once they agree to it,” Juma said. “This has been a challenge across our region as we continue to care for our homeless population.”

Fraser Health has been under fire recently after two patients were discharged from Surrey Memorial Hospital and sent by taxi to a shelter in Chilliwack. Mayor Ken Popove demanded to know why that was appropriate, given the patients still needing medical care and the fact Chilliwack has its own homeless population to support.

Juma said the man was eventually transferred back to a shelter in Surrey.

‘That’s startling’: Horgan reacts to claims of homeless patients being sent to Chilliwack

Dyble said local hospital administrators have brought the issue to the attention of those in charge.

Said Hope Mayor Peter Robb at a council meeting earlier this month: “They’ve been told, in no circumstances to repeat this policy, and make sure all the staff has been notified at Fraser Health that [Hope] will not accept released patients from [other] hospitals.”

With the weather warming up, Dyble said the public may see more homeless people out in the community, in tents at the river or in other spots in town, and that the society’s homeless outreach team is available to help those in need.

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

Son of slain former Hells Angel is one of two men sentenced for crime spree

Pair’s 2017 series of Lower Mainland robberies stretched from Surrey to Mission

‘Person of interest’ identified after suspicious meat left in North Delta park

Piles of meat have been dumped near the 63rd Avenue trail entrance four times in the last 30 days

Surrey-raised Merkules raps his way around the world

Cole Stevenson opens up about his ‘Scars,’ a hit remix of ‘Old Town Road’ and how he’s pals with Shaq

Fundraiser launched for South Surrey stabbing victim’s funeral

Paul Prestbakmo remembered for ‘amazing smile, great soul’

Disney Plus to launch in Canada in November

Analysts say latest streaming service may escalate cord cutting

B.C. manhunt suspects left cellphone video before they died: family

Family member says Kam McLeod, Bryer Schmegelsky recorded final wishes

Okanagan bus driver assaulted for asking patron not to smoke

59-year-old in hospital with non-life threatening injuries

Mouse infestation hit Langley hospital’s kitchens

Droppings and urine were found by Fraser Health inspectors in the spring

B.C. sets rules for ride hailing, same minimum fee as taxis

Larger operating areas seen as threat by cab companies

Two hiking families team up to extinguish fire in B.C. backcountry

Children and their parents worked for three hours to ensure safety of the popular hiking region

B.C. mom mourns 14-year-old son whose fatal overdose was posted online

Chantell Griffiths misses the son she hadn’t seen much in recent years

Vancouver man arrested after pregnant woman’s SUV stolen, then crashed

Police are recommending charges against a 22-year-old Vancouver man

Most Read