1. The right to have a social worker provided.
2. The right to public or private transportation (taxi voucher/bus pass).
3. Access to a listing of shelters, food services, psychological services.
4. Hospitals also have laws against "dumping" where they have to be medically stable and sober.
5. Hospitals also have to provide them with a bed until the morning.
And of course, all people are entitled to receive medical treatment regardless of their ability to pay. Essentially, we are to provide everything a person needs to get their life back together if they so wish.
|Homeless sleeping in a park.|
|Generally police check them into the nearest hospital.|
Knowing this, it is still hard to help homeless patients. 95% of the time they come in because they are too drunk to walk and have been in a fight or hurt themselves. Often they are violent against ER workers, especially nurses and techs. They tend to be very vulgar towards staff and other patients. We can restrain them to some degree but laws are very strict on what we can do. When using Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC), it is lowered by roughly 0.015% per hour. Take an experienced drinker with 0.5% (this is technically a "lethal dose" and easily tolerated by experience drinkers ), that is 28 hours until they are sober enough to leave. That's also 28 hours where we had a room we couldn't give to someone else.