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Program helps people who are homeless recover after hospitalization

Felix Ware (right), a homeless man who was hurt by a falling tree while working for a tree service, got housing and other help from the HOPES program. Nurse Marietta Douglas checks his hand strength.

A big cheer to the Greensboro News and Record in North Carolina for this article about the Healing Opportunities for People Experiencing Sickness (HOPES) program.

HOPES, which is run by social workers, nurses and other staff at Congregational Nurses Program at Cone Health, helps hospitalized people who are homeless recover and transition back into everyday life. Many have nowhere to go after surgery or a devastating accident.

The program, which is funded by a generous anonymous donor, provides housing, food, transportation and other services. Social workers and nurses also check on recently released patients, ensuring they are properly recovering.

National Association of Social Workers member Hope Rife, who is director of clinical social work at Cone Health, said the program is sorely needed. In 2011 she unsuccessfully tried to find housing for a homeless man who just had surgery.

All the shelters were full.

“He slept under a bridge that night,” she said.

To learn more about about how social workers help people who are homeless read “Family Safety Real Life Stories: From Homeless to Independent Living” at the National Association of Social Workers’ Help Starts Here website by clicking here.


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  1. Hello I need a place to call Home. My apt in Sherwood OR was taken away from me and to this day i don’t have any clue why, Ive been trying and trying to find a place to live. I have Scoliosis and im in pain all the time my Doctor says i am Disabled, but the surgeon at OHSU says he can fix me. Yahoo!
    Just need a safe clean place to heal.

    Thank you Susan Lyman.

    If you or any one can give me resource that can help me please email me back or if you would like to here more of my story would love to tell.

  2. I have a friend that is getting ready to have major back survey and has nowhere to go after his surgery. He won’t be able to pull any stairs he has three weeks to make arrangements. Due to the injuries sustained at work has cause his to not be able to provide for his family. Do you any referrals in the Ohio area?

  3. Ms. Barnett:

    It is wonderful you are concerned about your friend. Go to NASW website and use the Find a Social Worker tool to find help for your friend in your area:

    Good luck!

    Greg Wright
    NASW Public Relations Manager

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