Each year as many as 100+ homeless men and women die on the streets of San Diego. In response to homeless deaths, Alpha Project launched Hospice for the Homeless in 2007 to provide financial assistance to homeless people diagnosed with terminal illnesses.
In most cases, the healthcare component of hospice, including medical oversite, in-home nursing care as the patient declines, delivery of medications, social workers, and behavioral health and spiritual counseling, is covered through insurance by the client-chosen hospice provider. Still, housing and other necessities such as food are not covered unless admitted to the hospital or a skilled nursing facility. However, some hospice clients may still be ambulatory and do not require hospitalization or a skilled nursing facility at the time of their diagnosis and have no “home” to receive the critical hospice services they need. As funding permits, Alpha Project provides financial support and works collaboratively with the referring hospice/medical entity to help pay for housing, food, and other needs not covered by insurance.
Hospice for the Homeless eligibility includes 1) a terminal diagnosis by a physician with six months or less to live, 2) signed up with a hospice provider, 3) homeless, and 4) no or very low income.
Alpha Project started the Living with Dignity Program as an extension of Hospice for the Homeless to provide one-time financial assistance to help seniors, those with physical disabilities, or other debilitating chronic illnesses such as cancer, ALS, or Parkinson’s disease. The program provides one-time emergency assistance, including rental/security deposit, transportation, food, and mobile devices such as wheelchairs, walkers, and blind walking sticks.
To make a contribution, please visit https://www.alphaproject.org/donate/gift-of-money, and choose the Hospice/LWD Campaign.
By Peggy Peattie
SAN DIEGO — Julius Ward never saw it coming. Sitting against a building at night in the Gaslamp District, asking for spare change, he didn't expect one of the bar-hopping passersby to kick him in the eye, sending him sprawling across the pavement in a pool of blood. Nor did he expect the nearby policeman to give chase, catch the perpetrator and coordinate getting Julius to the hospital.