Helping the homeless when they are sick

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. - Michael Stevenson is recuperating from spinal cord surgery he had two months ago. He had no place to go to when he was released from the hospital.

Stevenson said, "They actually came and got me and that was a good day, because I didn't know what was going to happen."

The nuns at St. Ann Place are using grant money to have Michael stay temporarily in a motel. He's not alone needing help. Sister Pat Leonard told us, "Some of the medical needs are like some have been diagnosed with cancer or if sometimes they appear without any warning, with cuts and have fallen and broken something."

According to St. Ann Place, they service more than 18-hundred homeless every month. On average 233 need medical care. Yearly more than 40 need a temporary place to stay when they are diagnosed with a serious illness. "The length of stay is longer because it seems we have sicker clients who are demanding more time in the hotels and motels and right now the average cost for the year is around 20 thousand."

The nuns say they are talking with area agencies to help. Michael said, "It's hard enough being homeless when you are physically capable of taking care of yourself. but where would a person go who is having problems walking, who can't tie their own shoes. where do they go?"

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