06 Jan 2014

Healthcare For The Homeless

March 2012 – Jose G. was identified on his mat in desperate need of medical attention. His left eye was oozing and discolored. Later, he was diagnosed with cancer in his left eye. The doctor recommended removing his eye and the tissue surrounding the eye. After having the surgery, the nursing staff provided daily wound care at the surgical site. Problems of self-esteem arose as a result of the surgery but he continued his sincere gratitude for the attention he was receiving. Jose had hoped to obtain a prosthetic eye and was disappointed to learn that even the discounted price was far beyond his means.

A disappointed Jose returned to Camillus House from the hospital with a patch on his eye. Jose shared his disappointing news with the shelter nurse who called Dr. Ahr, Camillus House CEO and President, to ask I there was any funding for his situation. Dr. Ahr contacted ophthalmologist John Puglisi, MD who made a few call and arranged for Jose to receive a prosthetic eye at no cost. After he received his prosthetic eye, Jose eventually returned to work as a laborer in construction.
Allegany Franciscan Ministries awarded a grant of $50,000 to Camillus House to provide pre and post-operative care, including follow up care and treatment for medical, dental, vision, behavioral health, and substance abuse, for chronically homeless persons in Miami-Dade. The grant supported the Shelter Nurse position which ensured that the health care needs of their clients were adequately addressed.