When COVID-19 swept through Portland this spring, 80-year-old Helen* had nowhere to go. She was homeless and lived on the streets. The shelters and clinics she relied on for food and medical care either closed or drastically reduced their hours, staffing and services.
Helen has many chronic conditions. With a lack of housing, nutritious food and regular medical care, she visited the Emergency Department at Providence Portland Medical Center more than 60 times last year. Before Gov. Kate Brown issued stay-at-home orders for Oregon, Providence caregivers at the BOB (Better Outcomes Thru Bridges) Program were working to help Helen get into an assisted living facility.
The COVID-related stay-at-home orders slowed the housing intake process. Helen was now required to self-quarantine for more than 30 days before she could move into a living facility. With no place to sleep, eat or care for herself, she had no way to isolate herself in quarantine.
"We are so grateful to know that Helen is living safely at Providence ElderPlace where she has full-time care 24 hours a day."
- Becky Wilkinson, Outreach program manager for BOB
Providence caregivers secured a motel room for Helen. They also provided food, medications and transportation so she could observe the month-long quarantine. Because of the help she received, Helen successfully completed the intake process and was approved for placement at the living facility.
“We all breathed a huge sigh of relief when Helen was finally able to enter the facility,” says Becky Wilkinson, outreach program manager for BOB. “We are so grateful to know that Helen is living safely at Providence ElderPlace where she has full-time care 24 hours a day.”
It took a lot of caregivers from PPMC, the BOB Program, Providence Medical Group and ElderPlace all working together to secure housing and care for this senior citizen. It wouldn’t have been possible without funding from the caregivers and community donors who support Providence Foundations. These gifts make a real difference for the vulnerable people in our communities. Thanks to our team of caregivers and generous donors, Helen now has a home, nutritious meals and the medical care she needs.
*Helen is not the actual name of this patient. The name was changed to protect patient privacy.