Levi Hamilton would be back on the streets if it weren’t for the after-care help Community Regional Medical Center provided him.
Commemorating a year of sobriety, Hamilton says CRMC provided such help as transportation to and from appointments, access to medical devices, and assistance getting him to and from his current shelter.
Now, an anonymous donor wants to help the hospital help more people like Levi.
The hospital received a $500,000 matching donation challenge. For every dollar the hospital receives now through the end of January, the donor will match.
All the hospital would say about the donor is that it is a man from the Fresno area.
Helping Those in Need
“All these things are costly. All these things we provide. They are not reimbursed by insurance. We do it because it is the right thing to do.” — Katie Zenovich, CEO of Community Medical Foundation
The money will be used to help patients who could not afford things like clothes, medical devices, or even health care services. It will be called the Safe Discharge Program.
“I can’t think of a better time of year,” Katie Zenovich, CEO of Community Medical Foundation said of the donor’s timing. “He cares nothing more than to help the poor and homeless.”
Zenovich said the money would be used to make sure no discharged patient leaves without proper clothing and shelter.
“All these things are costly. All these things we provide. They are not reimbursed by insurance,” Zenovich said. “We do it because it is the right thing to do.”
CRMC and Clovis Community Hospital treated 44,000 homeless patients visits in the last year, Zenovich said.
The donation will help offset those costs. It is the first time CRMC received a donation to help patients after discharge.
Prior to the donation, hospital staff raised money and donated goods such as shoes, food, and toys for homeless patients.
The hospital system raises $12 million for charity services a year.
Motivation to Stay Sober
“If it wasn’t for the hospital, I would probably be out there doing drugs and probably committing crime.” — patient Levi Hamilton
Hamilton, from Fresno, is currently a patient at CRMC because of chest problems. It is not the first time he’s been in their care. But, he says with help from CRMC, he hopes to get healthier and off the streets.
“They help me get me to programs that help me better myself. They’ve been helpful every step of the way,” Hamilton said.
Specifically, Hamilton said the hospital helped find him medical equipment, medicine, and a place to stay.
What would happen to him without CRMC’s help?
“I would be probably back on the side of the freeway, being homeless. I wouldn’t be making my medical appointments,” Hamilton said.
He admits he’s struggled with addiction before, and at one time deserved the negative criticism levied at some chronically homeless people. But, he’s on the road to recovery.
“I’m no perfect person, far from it,” Hamilton said, who has been a year clean. “If it wasn’t for the hospital, I would probably be out there doing drugs and probably committing crime.”
The hospital’s help with his post-care treatment motivates him to stay sober, he said.
“Spend this guy’s money,” Zenovich said enthusiastically of the anonymous donation. “Everything makes a difference.”
The donor will match dollar for dollar.
Donations can be made by calling 559-724-4343 or clicking here.