Crowded Homeless Shelters And The Vicious Flu Brew Perfect Storm

Mar 7, 2018
Carmen Heredia Rodriguez / Kaiser Health News

The flu descended on Connie Gabaldon like a fog, she recalled, clouding her mind and compromising her judgment. It progressed to chest and back pain, the aches perhaps made worse by a fall the 66-year-old had while riding the bus in Santa Fe, New Mexico.

Everyone expects Congress to change the Affordable Care Act, but no one knows exactly how.

The uncertainty has one group of people, the homeless, especially concerned. Many received health coverage for the first time under Obamacare; now they're worried it will disappear.

Joseph Funn, homeless for almost 20 years, says his body took a beating while he lived on the street.

Now, he sees nurse practitioner Amber Richert fairly regularly at the Health Care for the Homeless clinic in Baltimore.

Dr. Jessie Gaeta, chief medical officer at the Boston Health Care for the Homeless Program, inside the conference room where heroin users are monitored while they ride out a high.
Jesse Costa / WBUR

It's  just a quiet room filled with comfortable chairs, stocked with oxygen tanks and blood pressure cuffs. But it's likely the only place of it's kind in the country - a safe place where drug users can come to sit out a high under medical supervision. 

As nurse April Donahue tells WBUR's Commonhealth, the experience is different from working with this population in the past. 

Health Clinics On Wheels Reach The Neediest In Dallas

May 5, 2016
Lauren Silverman / KERA News

In Texas, we’re all about convenience. The drive-through Starbucks, burger joint, even drive through bank. Still, there aren’t any drive through health clinics…the closest thing are clinics on wheels run by Parkland, Dallas' public hospital. Those have been crisscrossing the city of Dallas for more than a decade, serving the people in the community that need it most.

In the latest episode of Sick, a podcast from Side Effects Public Media, journalist Lisa De Bode got curious about how homeless women deal with menstruation, so she wrote a story on it. Then, things started to change.

Plus, our reporter Jake Harper learns a valuable lesson about how to approach this topic as a male. 

This is a tale of two cities. In New Orleans, there are signs of hope that veteran homelessness can be solved. But Los Angeles presents a very different picture.

Under the deafening highway noise of the Pontchartrain Expressway in central city New Orleans, Ronald Engberson, 54, beds down for the night. Engberson got out of the Marines in 1979, plagued even back then by problems with drugs and alcohol. He says that's mostly the reason he's been homeless the past 10 years.

California Sees Housing As Significant Investment In Health Care

Jun 4, 2015
The Star Apartments owned by the Skid Row Housing Trust is on Maple Avenue and 6th Street in Los Angeles, Calif.
Heidi de Marco / KHN

LOS ANGELES — Will Nebbitt lives on the 5th floor of a new downtown apartment building. From his window, he has a panoramic view of the Los Angeles skyline. He can also see Skid Row, where he spent decades sleeping on the ground.

Nebbitt, 58, says his body can’t handle life outside anymore. He has a seizure disorder, heart disease and depression. He’s had four operations, including bypass surgery on his leg in March.

“I am too old and sick to be back out there on the streets,” he said. “It kind of takes a toll on a person.”