Global Ministries

The United Methodist Church

Connecting the Church in Mission

UMC gifts to Christ House Medical Services helped provide the homeless with 24-hour medical care, case management, addiction counseling, and more.
A nurse at Christ House Medical Services in Washington, D.C., reviews a patient’s medication regimen prior to his discharge.

UMC #GivingTuesday Gifts Increase Homeless Services

By Judith Santiago*

“For you always have the poor with you…” —Mark 14:7 (NRSV)

Access to stable housing and supportive services are critical for homeless people in the United States who may suffer from a number of mental and physical challenges.

In Washington, D.C., Christ House Medical Services, Advance #381215, offers comprehensive and compassionate health care to sick homeless men and women, helping them address the critical issues that prevent them from breaking out of the cycle of homelessness. The organization provides a holistic approach to patient care that empowers individuals to lead more stable lives.  

Thanks to UMC #GivingTuesday donations made to the organization last year, Christ House increased their efforts in providing the homeless with 24-hour medical care, case management services, addiction counseling, and shelter to those in need.

“When homeless patients receive this holistic care in a safe environment, they are able to address the issues that may have led them to be homeless,” said Sarah Katz, director of development for Christ House Medical Services.

“Delivering these services and educating our patients gives them the tools to manage their health problems,” continued Katz.  “It places them in the best possible position to leave their life on the streets for more stable, affordable housing.”

Some of Christ House Medical Service patients during a recent trip to the National Zoo. Photo: Christ House Medical Services.
Some of Christ House Medical Service patients during a recent trip to the National Zoo. Photo: Christ House Medical Services. Used with permission.

James’ story

James (not his real name) was referred to Christ House by a homeless shelter nurse who knew that he needed medical care beyond what the shelter could offer. Only 26 years-old, James experienced a repeated cycle of health crises and hospital stays. He suffered from unmanaged schizophrenia, seizure disorder, and drug addiction.

The Christ House medical team worked diligently to keep James on his mental health medications and soon his seizure disorder was under control. Because James was extremely vulnerable, he needed to stay at Christ House until he was provided with an appropriate group home placement and medical treatment plan.

Although James was under the care of a legal guardian and mental health agency, a case manager determined that his past treatments were not sufficient for his needs. So, the case manager enrolled him in an intensive, 24/7 mental health program and petitioned for an expedited placement in a group home.

“When treatment and systems prove to be ineffective for a patient, someone must make the decision to pursue new options,” said Katz.  “Our medical team went the extra mile to be sensitive to James’ fragile condition, and the case manager advocated for more appropriate support services.”

With support systems in place, the team now felt comfortable sending James to his new home.

Your gifts to Christ House Medical Services, Advance #381215, help people like James get the holistic health services they need in the United States.

UMC #GivingTuesday is Dec. 1

On Dec. 1, United Methodists will once again come together to support the work of Advance projects and missionaries on UMC #GivingTuesday. And once again, every gift made online through The Advance at www.umcmission.org/give on Dec. 1, 2015, will be matched up to $1 million.** The missionary who receives the highest amount of online donations on UMC #GivingTuesday will be able to direct $10,000 to an Advance project of his/her choice!

Download and share UMC #GivingTuesday resources.

*Judith Santiago is the Content and Editorial Coordinator for Global Ministries.

** Global Ministries will allocate matching funds, dollar for dollar, up to the first $1 million in gifts to Advance projects received online on Dec. 1, 2015, between 12:00 a.m. and 11:59 p.m. CT. A maximum of $2,500 per individual gift to a project will be dispersed as matching funds. An individual project may receive a maximum of $25,000 in matching funds.

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Health Ministries