Category Archives: Supportive housing
Kelly Doran, MD, is an emergency physician and a Robert Wood Johnson Foundation/U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs Clinical Scholar at Yale University. This post is part of the "Health Care in 2013" series.
Around this time of year I think a lot about my friend Hank. He is one of only two people to whom I reliably send a Christmas card each year, and just as reliably I receive a holiday package from him containing thoughtfully chosen gifts.
When I first met Hank he was homeless, living out of a van he parked near Golden Gate Park in San Francisco. Hank had multiple serious chronic medical conditions, and the homelessness certainly did not help any. He was very sick and, sadly, though he was barely 50 years old I thought he had maybe five years left, tops. Well, 10 years have passed and Hank is still ringing in the New Year… in his own apartment. This is no Christmas miracle, but rather a predictable result of supportive housing.