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

Northern B.C.’s Ridley coal terminal sold, Canada divests, First Nations to own portion

Ten per cent of shares transferred to the Lax Kw’alaams Band and the Metlakatla First Nation

Vanderhoof Clippers are working towards getting a booth rebuilt at the Arena

Terry Lazaruk, president of the club said they haven’t been able to host sanctioned meets due to the lack of a proper timing booth

Skeena mainstem closed to recreational sockeye

Escapements expected to be below 800,000 threshold

Vanderhoof skateboard park almost complete

Different recreation opportunities opening up in the District

FOI data confirms rural drivers discriminated against, former Telkwa mayor says

Analyzed rural postal codes paid just over 2.5 times more in premiums than they received in claims

VIDEO: B.C. MLA Michelle Stilwell takes first steps in nearly 30 years

‘It actually felt like walking. It’s been 27 years… but it felt realistic to me’

Report of dead body in B.C. park actually headless sex doll

This discovery, made at Manning Park on July 10, led police to uncovering two other sex mannequins

Grand Forks fire chief found to have bullied, harassed volunteer firefighter: report

WorkSafeBC, third-party human resources investigation looking into allegations complete

Dog recovering after being drenched in hot coffee, B.C. man charged

Man was taken into custody, charged, and released pending a court date

Taekwondo instructor, 21, identified as B.C. bat rabies victim

Nick Major, 21, an instructor at Cascadia Martial Arts in Parksville

Science expedition to Canada’s largest underwater volcano departs Vancouver Island

Crews prepared for a two-week research mission to the Explorer Seamount

B.C. shipyard to get one-third of $1.5 billion frigate-repair contract

The federal government has promised to invest $7.5 billion to maintain the 12 frigates

Worried about bats? Here’s what to do if you come across one in B.C.

Bat expert with the BC Community Bat Program urges caution around the small creatures

B.C. on right road with tougher ride-hailing driver rules, says expert

The provincial government is holding firm that ride-hailing drivers have a Class 4 licence

Most Read