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.

Just Posted

Skin deep: A look inside the ink behind Beacon Tattoo

Patrick Berube, owner of Beacon Tattoo, spends most of his Tuesdays at… Continue reading

Second recreational cannabis shop opens its doors in Port Hardy

Pacificanna owner Darren Saunders was excited to finally see his family-run business open up shop.

Bradshaw’s Photo Highlight: A lone crow landing beside an eagle

“I saw an eagle just sitting there, but I had a feeling it wouldn’t be there long as I got closer”

Port McNeill council’s June 17 meeting features ‘packed agenda’

A draft policy on wildfire response for the Port McNeill Volunteer Fire Department was presented.

Services at the Port Alice Health Centre get clarification from Island Health…. sort of

“In our initial talks it was imperative that the emergency room and all the equipment could stay”

Video shows fireworks shot at swan in Alberta

Alberta Fish and Wildlife is investigating the incident in Grande Prairie

WITH VIDEO: Two endangered marmots released on Vancouver Island

With three new pups born in May, two more Vancouver Island Marmots… Continue reading

‘Text neck’ causing bone spurs to grow from millennials’ skulls, researchers say

Technology use from early childhood causing abnormal bone growths in 41 per cent of young adults

B.C. teen killed by fallen tree on field trip remembered as hero

13-year-old Tai Caverhill was the first to spot the tree falling and warned his friends

Surrey RCMP raises Pride flag amid din of protesters

There were about 30 protesters on either side, and 20 Mounties doing crowd control

Should B.C. get rid of Daylight Saving Time?

The province wants to know, as state governments down south make the move

Air Canada reviewing how crew left sleeping passenger on parked plane

In a Facebook post, the woman said she woke up ‘all alone’ on a ‘cold dark’ aircraft

Canadians crash out of Women’s World Cup in 0-1 loss to Sweden

Canada missed a chance to tie the game on a penalty shot

Four-year-old boy assaulted at B.C. soccer game

It happened at a weekend tournament in Ashcroft

Most Read