Lourdes to Expand Services for Homeless With $300K Grant from Robert Wood Johnson Foundation
Tuesday, November 13, 2007
Camden – Our Lady of Lourdes Health Foundation has received a $300,000 grant from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation through its New Jersey Health Initiatives program to develop an innovative treatment program to care for homeless individuals suffering from both mental health issues and addiction, announced Alexander J. Hatala, President and CEO of the Lourdes Health System.
The program will be developed and administered through Project H.O.P.E., Lourdes' homeless outreach program which seeks to improve the health and well being of Camden City's homeless by providing medical, social, outreach, and advocacy services in order to assist them with the transition to self-sufficiency. Lourdes is the only healthcare organization in Camden County that provides medical services in a program dedicated to the homeless.
The grant funds will be used for outreach workers to identify and refer individuals for mental health and substance abuse assessments with a Licensed Clinical Social Worker in one of four settings throughout Camden. Once engaged in this program, individuals experiencing homelessness should receive quality medical attention, mental health and drug abuse treatment, and be connected with on-going medical care, heath education and with social services to assist in overcoming the obstacles of homelessness and poverty.
"We frequently see individuals who suffer from mental health and addiction issues, which is a contributing factor to their homelessness," said Patricia DeShields, MSW, LSW, R.N., Director of Project H.O.P.E. "By treating both of these conditions in a multidisciplinary primary care setting, we can construct a health care support system for patients who have very complex problems. We can help these individuals engage in a recovery process."