Friday, December 14, 2007

Community response

Kevin Cullen wrote this moving story in yesterday's Boston Globe. Yesterday afternoon, I received this note from our head of social work:

Even more moving than the story itself is the response that it has generated. We and the Globe have received dozens of calls from people who have seen the story and are offering either a room for this patient, or money to help him pay rent. This is a tribute to this patient, the staff who have worked tirelessly on his behalf and the generosity of strangers.

6 comments:

pesha said...

Just as I was reading the click-through Globe article, James Taylor's sweet tones came through ye newe iPod: "You've got a friend." Touching story.

Michael said...

This is indeed a moving story, and I am gratified that so many people in the Boston area have come forward to help Mr. Garcia. And, would it not be wonderful if we had a process in place to deal with such situations as a routine and not ad hoc?!

Sachi said...

This might be unrelated..and am not sure if some thing like this is already implemented at BI, but am forwarding a link that can help wake up a lot of eyes...http://www.newyorker.com/reporting/2007/12/10/071210fa_fact_gawande?printable=true

margalit said...

What the story doesn't say is that there isn't any housing for ANYONE in Massachusetts, even out west. There hasn't been a new Section 8 voucher given out by HUD in years, the average waiting time for subsidized housing is 20 YEARS, and most people who are poor do not qualify for it anyways due to the anachronistic federal poverty rate rules, written in 1964 and never updated!

Housing is the most serious problem we have in this country, especially now that the housing market has collaped due to subprime mortgages. People have no place to live, homelessness keeps increasing every year and yet we continually close our eyes to the problem.

It's great that your employees are trying to help this man, but how many other people need housing help that haven't been written about in the Globe? We ALL need to do something to change the way the subsidized housing market is run in this country.

Paul Levy said...

Well put!

B&J said...

I know I'm coming to this a week after the fact, but I was just catching up on my blog reading and I feel compelled to comment here.

Margalit really hit the nail on the head above. Before giving birth earlier this year, I worked in the social work department at a rival hospital and encountered situations like Mr. Garcia's all the time.

While it is heartening to hear how enthusiastic people are to help in this situation, why is it that an intimate face must be put on a problem before people will step in and recognize it as such? Perhaps all of the people coming forward wanting to help could also make a donation to Mass Coalition for the Homeless or the Pine Street Shelter or one of the many other agencies devoted to helping the homeless in this state? Or perhaps they could join MCH at the state house for one of their advocacy days. Or even just send off a quick email or make a quick phone call to their congressperson to encourage them to do something about this pervasive and ever growing problem?