MLA Jackie Tegart says a regional plan addressing the pathways into and out of homelessness is the best way to prevent hospitals from shuffling patients with no fixed address into distant communties via taxi. (Pixabay)

MLA calls for regional plan, amid third report of homeless patient taxied to Fraser Valley

Regional plan could also help prevent one community from becoming a ‘hub’ of homelessness MLA says ‘regional plan’ including wrap-around services will help end hospitals’ shuffling of homeless

A mother has come forward with another instance of a homeless person being discharged from hospital and sent by taxi to a shelter in a community far away.

Rina Gallo, who lives in Surrey, said she received a call from her son, Steven, right before Christmas. She said he told her he was at Langley Memorial Hospital and that he was being discharged via taxi to Hope.

“He was scared, he was very scared, but he called me when he got there,” said Rina during a recent phone interview.

The Hope Standard confirmed Steven was a client at the House of Hope Emergency Shelter, but was not able to confirm how he got there. However, his mother was emphatic he was delivered by a cab hired by the staff at Langley Memorial Hospital.

“I spoke with the social worker at the time and she said he had to go,” Rina said. “And I said, ‘That’s not where he lives.’ They took him from his family, his baby. They took him from his entire family.”

She said Steven, who lives in Surrey, missed the birth of his first child, a boy, on Jan. 8 because he was at the Hope shelter.

“My son has drug issues, and they had highly medicated him because he can get violent. He even tried committing suicide while in there. I’m surprised Langley Memorial released him at all,” she said.

This is the latest case, and the second such one in Hope, of the Fraser Health Authority taxiing discharged homeless patients that are deemed medically stable to shelters in communities not their own.

Last month, Chilliwack Mayor Ken Popove wrote to Fraser Health, demanding to know why two patients had been discharged from Surrey Memorial Hospital and sent by taxi to a Chilliwack shelter, especially when they still needed medical care. Fraser Health said staff are taking his concerns “very seriously” and that every effort is made to find patients suitable housing, but that sometimes these transfers occur.

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

READ MORE: ‘That’s startling’: Premier reacts to homeless patients being sent to Chilliwack

Fraser-Nicola MLA Jackie Tegart said it’s time for a regional approach to the complex issue – for communities and Fraser Health to find a solution together, rather than sending homeless people from one place to another and never dealing with the problem directly.

“We all have a responsibility to care for our most vulnerable,” Tegart said. “When we’re shipping people who are leaving the hospital and have no place to go, it’s unbelievable to think about it for the amount of dollars we spend.”

She said the Fraser Valley Regional District is already discussing a plan, and that Hope Mayor Peter Robb plans to take the issue to its hospital board.

READ MORE: Told ‘no’ twice by local shelter, homeless Surrey man sent to Hope anyways


 

@SarahGawdin on Twitter
SarahGawdin on Instagram
Sarah.Gawdin@HopeStandard.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Comments are closed

Just Posted

BREAKING: Cloverdale McDonald’s employee tests positive for COVID-19

McDonald’s Canada immediately shut down the restaurant

Southridge students raise $5,600 for hospital meal program

GoFundMe campaign funds two months of meals at Peace Arch Hospital

Surrey kids get cooking during free SuperChefs camps pushed online by pandemic

‘Enthusiastic’ launch of program, which sees ingredient pickup at one local school

Court awards woman $143K for two Whalley rear-ender crashes, one by a bus

In both cases, Brigitte Bergeron’s vehicle was hit from behind while stopped at an intersection

Surrey RCMP searching for missing woman last seen in Crescent Beach

Milcah Kasomali-Chirumbwana last seen at 4:35 p.m. July 5 in the 12300-block of Beecher Street

Horrifying video shows near head-on collision on Trans Canada

The video was captured on dash cam along Highway 1

Fraser Valley woman complains of violent RCMP takedown during wellness check

Mounties respond that she was not co-operating during Mental Health Act apprehension

B.C. sees 12 new COVID-19 cases, no new deaths

Three outbreaks exist in health-care settings

Lost dog swims Columbia River multiple times searching for home

The dog was missing from his Castlegar home for three days.

COVID-19: B.C. promotes video-activated services card

Mobile app allows easier video identity verification

ICBC to resume road tests in July with priority for rebookings, health-care workers

Tests have been on hold for four months due to COVID-19

Would you take a COVID-19 vaccine? Poll suggests most Canadians say yes

75 per cent of Canadians would agree to take a novel coronavirus vaccine

Abbotsford school vice-principal accused of getting Instagram ‘confessions’ page shut down

@A.S.S.S.Confessions page claims school officials contacted families to find out person behind page

Recreational chinook openings leave First Nations frustrated on the Lower Fraser

Limited recreational openings for chinook on the Chehalis and Chilliwack rivers being questioned

Most Read