SPRINGFIELD, Mo. -- Where to send the homeless when they're ill or injured; That's the challenge some in Springfield are now embracing.
It's an issue that hospitals, shelters and other agencies have dealt with for a long time, but because of a nursing student's desire to make a difference, the community is looking for a solution.
Springfield's homeless shelters remain filled to capacity. That leaves One Door, which helps the homeless find services, in a tough position.
"When someone will show up in our office, and they need a place to stay, there's a waiting list, and that problem just gets magnified if you've had an injury, you've had a serous illness or surgery, and you've recently been released from a hospital," said One Door Director Michelle McCoy.
It leaves the ill or injured with nowhere to go. Sometimes, hospitals will keep a homeless patient longer than necessary. "Which is a huge cost, obviously to the hospitals. They're not technically ill enough to require hospitalization, but they're not well enough to be on the street either," said McCoy.
It's a problem Joyce Stevenson saw in her 15 years as a Cox North ER nurse.