A Time To Rest: Respite Care for the Homeless at the Campus for Human Development in Nashville, Tennessee
Salyer, Megan Elizabeth
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The study I completed at the Campus for Human Development dealt with health care, substance abuse, and homelessness. More specifically, I looked at where homeless people go to heal or, respite care. I conducted unstructured interviews with respondents who I encountered in the Day Room and the Guest House (center for the publicly intoxicated). I chose the Guest House because they have a limited number of beds set aside for respite patients. I also conducted unstructured and semi-structured interviews with staff members in order to learn about these issues from another angle. As I talked with the homeless participants, I discovered that a large number of them had been hospitalized while they were living on the streets. Furthermore, many of their illness and injuries were directly related to drug and alcohol abuse and that they used alcohol and drugs to cover the pain of the illness or injury. Thus, they created a cycle of abuse and illness. The staff members were able to describe the entire situation instead of personal stories. When I asked them, many of the respondents said that they would like to see more respite care facilities for homeless people. This was also the attitude expressed by the staff. Furthermore, both staff and participants described their ideal respite facility.