Mayor Darrell Steinberg

Letter of Support: Mayor Darrell Steinberg
View the original PDF

Dear Dr. von Friederichs-Fitzwater:
As Mayor-elect of Sacramento, I am pleased to support Joshua’s House, a hospice house for the terminally ill homeless, on the Loaves & Fishes campus in Sacramento. I am aware that, on average, one homeless person dies on the streets every week in Sacramento County and that number has steadily increased in the past few years. This translates into rates three times higher than the housed population in Sacramento County. Approximately 38% die alone on the streets and 35% die in emergency rooms or as inpatients. Cardiovascular disease and internal disease (AIDS, cancer, etc.) account for more than 20% of deaths in this population.

Homelessness is going to be a top-tier priority for my administration and I believe a hospice house is a much-needed addition to Sacramento’s continuum of care. No person should ever be forced to live their final days, weeks or months living on the streets without adequate access to services that provide comfort and dignity.

I agree that having a safe, comfortable, home-like facility for our tenninally ill homeless neighbors where they would receive hospice care, have private rooms, regular meals and oppo1tunities to interact with each other as well as caring volunteers would allow them to die with dignity and respect. The oppo1tunity to keep their pets with them will be an added benefit.

Equally important, Joshua’s House would serve to significantly reduce healthcare costs while providing quality hospice care to those who are terminally ill in the homeless community. The largest “service” cost for the city and county is the cost for the Fire Department to transpott people experiencing homelessness in ambulances. Joshua’s House would provide a place for local hospitals to discharge terminally ill homeless patients with the knowledge that patients would receive quality hospice care! Hospice care significantly reduces the costs of re-occuning ambulance usage, ER visits and hospital stays.

I am pleased to paitner with you to bring much-needed hospice care to our homeless community and ensure that the poorest among us have an opportunity to die with dignity and respect.

Sincerely,
Danell Steinberg
Mayor-elect, City of Sacramento

Read more »

Congresswoman Doris Matsui

Letter of Support: Doris O. Matsui, Member of Congress
View the original PDF

Dear Dr. Friederichs-Fitzwater:

I am writing to support the development ofJoshua’s House at Loaves & Fishes in Sacramento. Joshua’s House would address a serious unmet need for end-of-life care for people who are homeless in our community.

The work of Joshua’s House will build upon and add to the efforts oflocal organizations already serving the needy in Sacramento by strengthening the continuum of care. The homeless population in Sacramento is not only growing, it is aging. Our city and our region need places like Joshua’s House now more than ever before.

In Congress, I am fighting for greater access to quality health care, including hospice care, for all Americans, especially our most vulnerable populations. Hospice care is an important part ofour health care system that is too often neglected. Nationwide, we are trying to advance the triple aim ofbetter health, better care, and lower costs. Providing greater access to hospice care pushes us closer to achieving those goals in our region. Quality hospice care not only reduces hospitalizations, it also improves the quality oflife for patients at the end of their lives.

Quality end-of-life care should be available for everyone. That is why I strongly support the work you are doing to bring Joshua’s House to our community.

Sincerely,
Doris O. Matsui
Member of Congress
matsui.house.gov

Read more »

Peter Tateishi

Letter of Support: Peter Tateishi, President/CEO, Metro Chamber of Commerce
View the original PDF

Dear Dr. von Friederichs-Fitzwater:

On behalf of the Sacramento Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce (Metro Chamber) and our 1,700 member businesses located throughout our six-county Capital Region, the Metro Chamber is pleased to support Joshua’s House, a hospice house for the terminally ill homeless, in Sacramento. We are aware that, on average, one homeless
person dies on the streets every week in Sacramento County and that number has steadily increased in the past few years.

This translates into rates three times higher than the housed population in Sacramento County. Approximately 38% die alone on the streets and 35% die in emergency rooms or as inpatients. Cardiovascular disease and
internal disease (AIDS, cancer, etc.) account for more than 20% of deaths in this population.

Homeless is a visible and costly issue in the Capital region. The Metro Chamber understands the importance of having a safe, comfortable, home-like facility for our terminally ill homeless neighbors where they would receive quality hospice care, have private rooms, receive healthy meals and have opportunities to interact with each other as well as with caring volunteers allowing them to die with dignity and respect. The opportunity to keep their pets with them will be an added benefit.

Equally important, Joshua’s House would serve to significantly reduce healthcare costs while providing quality hospice care to those who are terminally ill in the homeless community. The largest “service” cost for the city and county is the cost for the Fire Department to transport people experiencing homelessness in ambulances. Joshua’s House would provide a place for local hospitals to discharge terminally ill homeless patients with the knowledge that patients would receive quality hospice care! Hospice care significantly reduces the costs of re-occurring ambulance usage, ER visits and sort term hospital stays.

We are pleased to partner with you to bring much-needed hospice care to our homeless community and ensure that the poorest among us have an opportunity to die with dignity and respect.

Sincerely,
Peter Tateishi
President/CEO
Metro Chamber of Commerce

Read more »

Sister Libby Fernandez

Letter of Support: Sister Libby
View the original PDF

Dear Dr. von Friederichs-Fitzwater:
Sacramento Loaves & Fishes is pleased to support Joshua’s House, a hospice house for the terminally ill homeless, on the Loaves & Fishes campus in Sacramento. We are aware that, on average, one homeless person dies on the streets every week in Sacramento County and that number has steadily increased in the past few years. This translates into rates three times higher than the housed population in Sacramento County. Approximately 38% die alone on the streets and 35% die in emergency rooms or as inpatients. Cardiovascular disease and internal disease (AIDS, cancer, etc.) account for more than 20% of deaths in this population.

I am the Executive Director of Sacramento Loaves & Fishes. We are one of the largest and most comprehensive non-profit organizations in the Sacramento area that serves homeless men, women, and children. Our mission is “In an environment of welcome, hospitality, safety and cleanliness we seek to provide an oasis for homeless men, women and children seeking survival services”. Our philosophy of service is based on Matthew 25:40: “as often as you did it to the least of my brothers and sisters you did it to me”. On any given day, we serve 600 -800 poor and homeless guests through our 12 programs located on our 5-acre campus in downtown Sacramento, Ca.

We agree that having a safe, comfortable, home-like facility for our terminally ill homeless neighbors where they would receive hospice care, have private rooms, regular meals and opportunities to interact with each other as well as caring volunteers would allow them to die with dignity and respect. The opportunity to keep their pets with them will be an added benefit.

Equally important, Joshua’s House would serve to significantly reduce healthcare costs while providing quality hospice care to those who are terminally ill in the homeless community. The largest “service” cost for the city and county is the cost for the Fire Department to transport people experiencing homelessness in ambulances. Joshua’s House would provide a place for local hospitals to discharge terminally ill homeless patients with the knowledge that patients would receive quality hospice care! Hospice care significantly reduces the costs of re-occurring ambulance usage, ER visits and sort term hospital stays.

We are pleased to partner with you to bring much-needed hospice care to our homeless community and ensure that the poorest among us have an opportunity to die with dignity and respect.

Sincerely,
Sister Libby Fernandez, RSM (Religious Sister of Mercy)
Executive Director, Loaves & Fishes

Read more »

Stephen Watters

Letter of Support: Stephen Watters, Executive Director First Step Communities
View the original PDF

Dear Dr. von Friederichs-Fitzwater:
First Step Communities is pleased to support the development and establishment of Joshua’s House, a hospice/respite house for the homeless on the Loaves & Fishes campus in Sacramento. We are aware that, on average, one homeless person dies on the streets every week in Sacramento County and that number has steadily increased in the past few years. This translates into rates three times higher than the housed population in Sacramento County. Approximately 38% die alone on the streets and 35% die in emergency rooms or as inpatients. Cardiovascular disease and internal disease (AIDS, cancer, etc.) account for more than 20% of deaths in this population.

First Step Communities administers PilgrimageSac, a successful rotating church-based shelter program assisting unsheltered homeless adults in Sacramento. Collaborative efforts with six midtown churches, foodbanks, local volunteers and social service organizations provide shelter, a nutritious dinner, a light breakfast, and community. The services operate year round and have been in constant operation since 2009, serving over 125,000 meals and providing over 65,000 shelter-nights, and provided an estimated $3M in value to the community at no cost.

First Step Communities is also working on a proposal to create a public-private partnership to create an Interim Housing and Services Community and medical clinic as a model that can cost effectively address the needs of up to 100 people experiencing homelessness at a time. Replication of the community across the Sacramento Region would greatly impact the number of unsheltered and vulnerable on our streets. However, far too many lives are still lost without the appropriate care Joshua’s House would provide.

We agree that having a safe, comfortable, home-like facility for our terminally ill homeless neighbors where they would receive hospice care, have private rooms, regular meals and opportunities to interact with each other as well as caring volunteers would allow them to die with dignity and respect. The opportunity to keep their pets with them will be an added benefit.

Equally important, Joshua’s House would serve to significantly reduce healthcare costs while providing quality hospice care to those in the homeless community. The largest “service” cost for the city and county is the cost for the Fire Department to transport people experiencing homelessness in ambulances. Joshua’s House would provide a place for local hospitals to discharge terminally ill homeless patients with the knowledge that patients would receive quality hospice care! Hospice care significantly reduces the costs of re-occurring ambulance usage, ER visits and sort term hospital stays.

We are pleased to partner with you to provide hospice services to the homeless guests staying at Joshua’s House. In addition, while financially unable presently, in the future First Step Communities expects to be able to become a supporting partner in bringing much-needed hospice/respite care to our homeless community to ensure that the poorest among us have an opportunity to die with dignity and respect.

Sincerely,
Stephen Watters
Executive Director, First Step Communities

Read more »

Craig Dresang

Letter of Support: Craig Dresang, Chief Executive Officer, Yolo Hospice
View the original PDF

Dear Marlene:
The Board of Directors, as well as the entire Leadership Team, at Yolo Hospice is truly pleased to support your vision for Joshua’s House in Sacramento. The concept of creating a hospice home for people who are terminally ill and homeless is perhaps one of the most compassionate and sensible initiatives our community can support.

The need for this type of supportive environment and care has long outpaced the availability of housing for homeless people who have a life-limiting illness. As a member of the National Partnership for Hospice Innovation, we are committed to providing a crucial safety net for our communities’ sickest and most vulnerable populations. In fact, it is our mission to “Serve our communities by providing the highest level of care for every patient, every family, every time.” Often, that means extending care to the homeless or to individuals who are unable to pay for care, and who are not eligible to receive Medicare, Medi-Cal, or private insurance.

The past decade has produced volumes of research that confirms what those of us in hospice have always known … people who can access hospice earlier in their diagnosis actually live longer and have a higher quality of life. In addition, hospice care keeps terminally ill people out of the hospitals and emergency rooms, thereby reducing healthcare costs in a significant way. Simply put, it is better care for a fraction of the cost.

Yolo Hospice is the first-established hospice provider in the Sacramento Valley and one of just a few programs in Northern California that operates a 4-Star Veterans Program. We will be honored to provide whatever support, leadership, and resources we can to ensure that Joshua’s House is successful and will be a safe supportive refuge for our homeless brothers and sisters.

Kind regards,
Craig Dresang
Chief Executive Officer, Yolo Hospice

Read more »

Holly Harper

Letter of Support: Holly Harper, Community Benefit Manager, Sutter Health Valley Area
View the original PDF

Dear Dr. von Friederichs-Fitzwater:
Sutter Health is pleased to support the planning phase of Joshua’s House, a hospice for the terminally ill homeless on the Loaves & Fishes campus in Sacramento. We are aware that, on average, one homeless person dies on the streets every week in Sacramento County and that number has steadily increased in the past few years. This translates into rates three times higher than the housed population in Sacramento County. Approximately 38% die alone on the streets and 35% die in emergency rooms or as inpatients. Cardiovascular disease and internal disease (AIDS, cancer, etc.) account for more than 20% of deaths in this population.

At Sutter Health, we are committed to working with partners across our region to support effective solutions to support housing and end homelessness. Our $15,000 investment in Health Communication Research Institute and support of the Joshua’s House project is part of our ongoing commitment to improving the health of the communities we serve and well-being of our entire region.

We are pleased to partner with you to bring much-needed hospice care to our homeless community and ensure that the poorest among us have an opportunity to experience their final days with dignity and respect.

Sincerely,
Holly Harper
Community Benefit Manager, Sutter Health Valley Area

Read more »

Sandy Sharon

Letter of Support: Sandy Sharon, RN, MBA, Senior Vice President and Area Manager, Sacramento Medical Center
View the original PDF

Dear Dr. von Friederichs-Fitzwater:
On behalf of Kaiser Permanente, this letter is to express our support of the planning phase of Joshua’s House, a hospice for the terminally ill homeless to be located on the Loaves & Fishes campus in Sacramento.

We are aware that, on average, one homeless person dies on the streets every week in Sacramento County and that number has steadily increased in the past few years. This translates into rates three times higher than the housed population in Sacramento County. Approximately 38% die alone on the streets and 35% die in emergency rooms or as inpatients. Cardiovascular disease and internal disease (AIDS, cancer, etc.) account for more than 20% of deaths in this population.

For more than 70 years, our mission at Kaiser Permanente has been to improve the health of our members and the communities we serve by delivering outstanding quality care and personalized service. Kaiser Permanente is committed to building partnerships with the organizations that serve on the front lines of health care for the uninsured and underserved and are pleased to provide a $15,000 investment in Health Communication Research Institute to support Joshua’s House.

We are pleased to partner with you to bring much-needed hospice care to our homeless community and ensure that the poorest among us have an opportunity to die with dignity and respect.

Sincerely,
Sandy Sharon, RN, MBA
Senior Vice President and Area Manager, Sacramento Medical Center
Kaiser Permanente

Read more »

Ashley Brand

Letter of Support: Ashley Brand, Director, Community Health Outreach, Dignity Health
View the original PDF

Dear Dr. von Friedrichs-Fitzwater:
Dignity Health is please to support Joshua’s House, a hospice house for the terminally ill homeless, on the Loaves & Fishes campus in Sacramento. We are aware that, on average, one homeless person dies on the street every week in Sacramento Count and that number has steadily increase in the past few years. This translates into rates three times higher than the housed population in Sacramento County. Approximately 38% die alone on the streets and 35% die in emergency rooms or as inpatients.

Homelessness is a significant health concern in our region and we believe a hospice house is a much-needed addition to Sacramento’s continuum of care. No person should ever be forced to live their final days, weeks or months living on the streets without adequate access to services that provide comfort and dignity.

Dignity Health agrees that having a safe, comfortable, home-like facility for our terminally ill homeless neighbors where they would receive hospice case, have private rooms, regular meals and opportunities to interact with each other as well as caring volunteers would allow them to die with dignity and respect. The opportunity to keep their beloved pets with them is an added benefit.

Equally important, Joshua’s House would serve to significantly reduce healthcare costs while providing quality hospice care to those are terminally ill in the homeless community. Joshua’s house would provide a safe place for Dignity Health and other local hospitals to discharge terminally ill homeless patients with the knowledge that patients would receive quality hospice care! Hospice care significantly reduces the costs of re-occurring ambulance usage, ER visits and short terms hospital stays.

We are pleased to partner with you to bring much-needed hospice care to our homeless community and ensure that the poorest among us have an opportunity to die with dignity and respect.

Sincerely,
Ashley Brand
Director, Community Health and Outreach
Dignity Health

Read more »

Laura Niznik Williams

Letter of Support: Laura Niznik Williams, Assistant Director, Government and Community Relations, UC Davis Health
View the original PDF

Dear Dr. von Friedrichs-Fitzwater:

UC Davis Health is pleased to support the development of Joshua’s House, a hospice/respite house for the homeless on the Loaves & Fishes campus in Sacramento.

Serving the needs of a global society comprising all people and a multiplicity of identities is important to our mission at UC Davis. Providing exemplary care to patients of all ages that responds to the diverse physical, psychosocial and spiritual needs of patients is part of our core mission. Our UC Davis Hospice program provides care for terminally ill patients who wish to remain at home and supports their families and loved ones along this journey. It is not so much a place, but rather an approach to health care emphasizing symptom management while helping patients and families to cope with psychosocial and spiritual issues.

Having a safe, comfortable, home-like facility in our community where terminally ill homeless patients can receive hospice care and an opportunity to participate in an environment of community would allow these individuals to experience end of life with dignity and respect.

For this reason, UC Davis Health is pleased to partner with other health care providers and community leaders to support this much needed hospice care facility for our homeless community and the efforts at Joshua’s House.

Sincerely,
Laura Niznik Williams
Assistant Director, Government and Community Relations
UC Davis Health

Read more »

Richard Hernandez

Letter of Support: Richard Hernandez, Director or Outreach, St. Francis Parish
View the original PDF

Dear Dr. von Friederichs-Fitzwater:

As the Director of Outreach for St. Francis of Assisi Parish, we are pleased to support Joshua’s House, a Hospice House for the terminally ill homeless.

St. Francis has a reputation of working with the homeless and the poor and the needy since 2004. Our experience has always been to take care of those less fortunate through our Steps and Breakfast Ministry. Each evening, 365 days of the year, we provide a safe shelter for 16 women and men and provide them with a breakfast in the morning as they prepare to leave for the day.

Through the years we have come to recognize that homeliness is a significant health concern in our region and we believe that a hospice house is a much needed addition to Sacramento’s continuum of care.

Statistics show that more and more homeless people are dying on the streets and we are seeing that these numbers are increasing on a yearly basis. There is not one reason why these numbers are increasing, but what we do know that each person deserves the dignity and respect all of us desire in our last days.

Part of our St. Francis Parish mission is to know that we are “Challenged by the Holy Spirit to reach beyond ourselves to care for our neighbors, the poor, and the marginalized.”

It is with this spirit that we highly support the mission of Joshua’s House which is to provide a hospice house for homeless where all are treated with dignity and respect and receive quality hospice care.

We are pleased to partner in this endeavor because Joshua’s house purpose in total alignment with our St. Francis Parish mission.

Pax et Bonum,
Richard Hernandez
Director of Outreach
St. Francis Parish

Read more »

Phil Serna

Letter of Support: Phil Serna, Supervisor, District 1, Sacramento County Board of Supervisors
View the original PDF

Dear Dr. von Friederichs-Fitzwater

I am writing to express my support for Joshua’s House, a conceptual hospice facility serving terminally ill homeless patients in Sacramento.

A tragic fact is that too many homeless men and women are dying on the streets each year in Sacramento County. and records indicate that number has steadily increased. This is the reason I believe a hospice house is a much-needed addition to Sacramento’s homeless continuum of care. No person should ever be forced to live their final days, weeks or months living on the streets without adequate support and access to services that provide comfort and dignity.

I agree that having a safe, comfortable. home-like facility for our terminally ill homeless constituents where they would receive hospice care, have private rooms, regular meals. opportunities to find or reach out to relatives. as well as interact with each other and caring volunteers would allow them to die with dignity and respect. The opportunity to keep their beloved pets with them is an added benefit. Equally important, Joshua’s House would serve to significantly reduce healthcare costs, including expensive ambulance transport and emergency room visits. while providing quality hospice care to terminally ill patients experiencing homelessness.

I am pleased to partner with you to bring much-needed hospice care to our homeless community and ensure that the most disadvantaged among us have an opportunity to die with dignity and respect. Please contact me or my staff at 916.874.5485 or SupervisorSerna(@saccounty.net should you have questions or require further information.

Respectfully,
Phil Serna
Supervisor, District 1
Saramento County Board of Supervisors

Read more »

Wellspring Women's Center Logo

Letter of Support: Genelle Smith, LCSW, Women’s Wellness Coordinator
View the original PDF

Dear Dr. von Friederichs-Fitzwater:

Wellspring Women’s Center is pleased to support Joshua’s House, a hospice house for the terminally ill homeless, on the Loaves & Fishes campus In Sacramento. We are appalled at the number of our homelesscommunity members that are founddead on the streets without the comfort, care, and dignity that should be afforded every member of our society at the end of life.

At Wellspring Women’s Center, 15% of our guests are currently homeless and 40% have been homeless in the past two years. Many struggle with chronic health issues and attempts to receive health care for serious conditions are thwarted by the daily stresses of securing basic necessities. We have witnessed their despair and suffering. With this firsthand experience, we fully support your mission to provide a hospice house for individuals experiencing terminal illness and homelessness.

We agree that having a safe, comfortable, home-like facility for our terminally ill homeless neighbors is critical. Joshua’s House would provide the much needed compassion and care that each person deserves as they are faced with the dying process. We are pleased to partner with youto bring much­ needed hospice care to our community and ensure that the poorest among us have an opportunity to die with dignity and respect.

Sincerely,
Genelle Smith, LCSW
Women’s Wellness Coordinator
Wellspring Women’s Center

Read more »