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financial donation to a needy patient

Nurses   (2,083 Views 23 Comments)
by bounjour bounjour (New Member) New Member

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TriciaJ has 35 years experience as a RN and works as a Retired.

1,106 Likes; 5 Followers; 30,807 Visitors; 2,770 Posts

Here's another caution: you have no idea what your money will actually be used for. It may provide food or other much-needed items, or you may unwittingly contribute to someone's substance abuse problem, which is why he might be homeless in the first place. This is why I'll echo the advice of previous posters: support your local resources. They have policies and programs to help ensure their help really is helping and not inadvertently adding to someone's problems.

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Buckeye.nurse has 13 years experience.

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I agree with all of the previous posters about monetary donations. One unit that I worked on had a significant number of homeless patients on a regular basis. We noticed that social work generally would drop off scrubs and flip-flops if clothing was needed so we brought up the perceived need in unit council.

After much discussion involving management, case workers, etc. we decided to start a homeless closet funded through unit council/sunshine fund money and donations. We stocked it with warm socks, sneakers, sweat pants/sweat shirts, gloves, and hats. Maybe a version of that would work on your unit.

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Daisy4RN has 20 years experience.

497 Likes; 1 Follower; 5,607 Visitors; 761 Posts

We had an unofficial clothes bin and would give people shoes, jackets etc when appropriate. I have on occasion given people small amounts of cash when I felt it was really needed and appropriate. You do need to be as sure as possible that it will be used for appropriate uses, you can never know for sure but sometimes you kinda get a feeling. But agree with others that it is always best to use support services first.

Once upon a time in a land far away I was working as a waitress. We had some homeless people around and there was an older lady that would frequently come in to try to get out of the cold, she would just sit as long as she could (until manager kicked her out) and talked to herself saying crazy things that didn't make sense. My friend and I started buying her meals and one day gave her a doggy bag to take with her. Next time she came back she was mumbling about how the dogs were chasing her around last time. We immediately thought oh no, was it the meat/doggy bag we gave her, we felt horrible!

We never knew for sure if it was her rambling or if we caused her to be chased by dogs, needless to say we didn't send her out with a doggy bag next time.

Moral of the story, you gotta think about what can happen after they leave, or as they say, you gotta know your audience.

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KelRN215 has 10 years experience and works as a Complex Care Manager.

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Here's another caution: you have no idea what your money will actually be used for. It may provide food or other much-needed items, or you may unwittingly contribute to someone's substance abuse problem, which is why he might be homeless in the first place. This is why I'll echo the advice of previous posters: support your local resources. They have policies and programs to help ensure their help really is helping and not inadvertently adding to someone's problems.

Yes, this too. A significant portion of homeless people are substance addicted. If you want to do something, make a donation to an organization like a soup kitchen or a healthcare for the homeless program or an organization that does job training for homeless people. I never give cash to anyone begging on the street either. When I did community health work in Nicaragua, actually, the organization we were volunteering with specifically asked us not to do that because it does nohing to help the root problem.

I fully admit that I am jaded. I currently work with children in foster care and most of their biological parents are substance abusers.

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This is not appropriate on a professional level but beyond that any donation you gave them would be temporary and not help them long term. Social work can set them up with long term resources like social housing ect.

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Davey Do has 35 years experience and works as a Behavioral Health RN.

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I took care of a patient who is homeless . He said he lives in a vehicle with his wife and one cat for three months. I feel sad for his situation knowing that I should feel grateful for what I have in life.

Your heart is in the right place and you've gotten a lot of good feedback.

Happy Thanksgiving to you as well, and welcome to AN.com, bounjour!

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JadedCPN has 13 years experience as a BSN, RN and works as a Pediatric RN.

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This is never appropriate at all as a nurse.

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Beldar_the_Cenobite works as a Certified Nursing Assistant.

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You know what sucks? I was living in my car once, met a guy who was in the service like I was, and told me that the VA has a housing program for homeless veterans through section 8. I tried it out, still on it, but finished nursing pre-reqs, still have nursing school to go through and haven't been accepted into that yet. Currently I'm working as a CNA and a few months ago I wrote a 16 page letter handwritten to HUD, along with 41 slide power point showing color photos and screenshots of plans I have to live in a van for nursing school and if they would let me finance it by saving up should my request not be approved, and a couple documents showing my debt, all this to section 8 to tell them "hey, I want to work as a CNA because it's relevant to nursing that I'm trying to earn my degree in. I'd like to be exempt from rent increases that way I can pay off all my debt, fix up my car, or pay my way through school if I need to so that way I can get off section 8 as soon as possible". This whole request thing I sent in, rejected, although the letter wasn't very clear about it it was just a snobby "no changes will be made to your file at this time" very vague wording. When you are on a system that allegedly helps you during hard times, it's not meant to help you fully recover. You're on it to be off it as soon as possible I'm beginning to understand.

It just flat out sucks and it's mind boggling how my request just wasn't approved. I agree with the whole "money won't help you, but maybe some direction and flexibility will". But let me just say HUD does not give a rats ass about your situation. The only thing they flat out care about is if you can pay your rent. They don't care if you have a plan for yourself and it makes a lot of sense like mine did. They want to know if you can pay your rent. It sucks and it should be changed. I showed all the proof I could give HUD. I didn't show my DD-214, but I'm sure the VA could provide a form stating that I still have my GI Bill.

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14,731 Visitors; 880 Posts

FTR - as a medic, I've returned to certain residences OFF-DUTY and out of uniform and bought & left groceries, diapers, clothes, etc. AND yes, we made sure all had access to info on community resources. Some things CANNOT wait. I did this quietly and without notice and discussion. I.E. Left things on porch.

And once as a flight nurse I actually left cash in a card with chaplain services to give to a mom of a patient that we flew. Told him to wait 30 mins after we left and swore him to secrecy. There was no way I was leaving this kid with a sick kid without the ability to buy a sandwich. And not every need is urgently addressed by someone else.

I'm willing to stand by my decisions.

Once you know what you know, well... you KNOW.

:angel:

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57 Likes; 3 Followers; 33,552 Visitors; 4,124 Posts

You know what sucks? I was living in my car once, met a guy who was in the service like I was, and told me that the VA has a housing program for homeless veterans through section 8. I tried it out, still on it, but finished nursing pre-reqs, still have nursing school to go through and haven't been accepted into that yet. Currently I'm working as a CNA and a few months ago I wrote a 16 page letter handwritten to HUD, along with 41 slide power point showing color photos and screenshots of plans I have to live in a van for nursing school and if they would let me finance it by saving up should my request not be approved, and a couple documents showing my debt, all this to section 8 to tell them "hey, I want to work as a CNA because it's relevant to nursing that I'm trying to earn my degree in. I'd like to be exempt from rent increases that way I can pay off all my debt, fix up my car, or pay my way through school if I need to so that way I can get off section 8 as soon as possible". This whole request thing I sent in, rejected, although the letter wasn't very clear about it it was just a snobby "no changes will be made to your file at this time" very vague wording. When you are on a system that allegedly helps you during hard times, it's not meant to help you fully recover. You're on it to be off it as soon as possible I'm beginning to understand.

It just flat out sucks and it's mind boggling how my request just wasn't approved. I agree with the whole "money won't help you, but maybe some direction and flexibility will". But let me just say HUD does not give a rats ass about your situation. The only thing they flat out care about is if you can pay your rent. They don't care if you have a plan for yourself and it makes a lot of sense like mine did. They want to know if you can pay your rent. It sucks and it should be changed. I showed all the proof I could give HUD. I didn't show my DD-214, but I'm sure the VA could provide a form stating that I still have my GI Bill.

I admire your efforts to improve your life. Why are you homeless?

Edited by Kooky Korky

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57 Likes; 3 Followers; 33,552 Visitors; 4,124 Posts

I also have always been told not to get too involved in patients' personal situations.

The best reasons I can think of for this is that one thing can lead to another. Also, the pt might be a scammer, might just want to get a foot into the door of my life in order to take advantage of me financially or otherwise mess up my life.

What are other reasons for professionals not getting personally involved with patients who are believed to be homeless?

How about the conflict felt by people who would normally be willing to help when they are not on duty and those same people working on professional duty time? How best to handle this conflict?

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