Get the latest news from the Respite Care Providers' Network!
Get the latest news from the Respite Care Providers' Network!

Respite News

A Quarterly Newsletter for Members of the Respite Care Providers' Network
February 22, 2022

NIMRC Resource Highlights

NIMRC has several exciting new resources to share: 
Issue Brief – Barriers to Accessing Higher Levels of Care: Implications for Medical Respite Care Programs

There is a significant tension throughout the continuum of health care services because of systemic barriers to accessing appropriate levels of care that align with a person’s functional and medical needs.
Medical respite programs often are faced with the challenge of whether or not to admit someone who requires a higher level of care but cannot access these services. This issue brief provides an overview of the levels of care often needed by people experiencing homelessness following an acute hospitalization, including medical respite care, and where they fall within the continuum of health care services. This brief also identifies the significant challenges in accessing these venues and recommended actions for medical respite programs and communities to address these inequities to improve health, safety, and well-being of clients.
Issue Brief – Expanding Options for Health Care Within Homeless Services: CoC Partnerships and Medical Respite Care Programs
A primary goal of medical respite care programs is to disrupt the cycle of homelessness and begin a pathway into housing. In best case scenarios, a person transitions from medical respite care into affordable housing. However, in many communities, there are challenges to this pathway. One partnership to address these challenges is between medical respite care (MRC) programs and Continuums of Care (CoC), which in many communities oversee the process for accessing affordable housing.
This issue brief describes existing service gaps, perspectives from MRC and CoC program staff, and action steps that can be taken to improve collaborations. While all communities are unique in their own way, CoC staff, homelessness services providers, MRC program staff, hospital systems, and Medicaid payers should use this document as a guide for improving health and housing outcomes.
A supplemental resource, "One Community’s Collaborative Approach: A Spotlight on Yakima, WA," is also available here.
The State of Medical Respite Care
The field of medical respite care continues to grow as more communities recognize the importance of providing people experiencing homelessness with a safe place to heal from illness or injury. To capture and highlight this growth and the invaluable work happening in medical respite programs across the country, we are pleased to share our new resource: The State of Medical Respite Care 2022.
The data reflected in this resource provides a snapshot of MRC programs in 2022. This resource is intended to support MRC advocacy, education, program planning, and quality improvement in communities across the U.S. The data is primarily based on self-reported information from MRC programs’ directory profile submissions.
NIMRC remains open to the needs and ideas of medical respite programs. If you have questions or ideas for new resources, please contact us! 

Letter to Members

Hello, RCPN Members!
On the first of this month, I celebrated my one-year anniversary with NIMRC and the Council. In my short time with you, it’s been humbling to witness your resilience, compassion, innovation, and dedication in the face of unprecedented challenges. The four years that I spent working directly with people experiencing homelessness left me with a profound respect for the demanding and complex work that you do each day. I’m grateful to be a part of this medical respite community and for the kindness and warmth that you have extended to me over the past 12 months.
Reflecting on our team’s recent work to support and elevate medical respite programs, two projects have been particularly meaningful for me. First, through an engagement award from the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute, we convened staff, guests, and community partners from programs across the U.S. to collaboratively develop a participatory research agenda for medical respite care that prioritizes the voices of people with lived experience of homelessness. Second, we are thrilled to introduce an interactive resource, the State of Medical Respite Care, highlighting key data about our field and the incredible work being done nationwide. 
Looking to the future, I’m especially excited about our evolving work around behavioral health care within the context of medical respite. We recently held several listening sessions on this important issue, and we look forward to highlighting the promising practices that emerged from those discussions in an upcoming resource this summer. 
It’s been a true pleasure getting to know so many of you this past year, and I’m honored to partner with you in this work. You give me confidence that we can achieve our collective mission to advance health equity for our unhoused neighbors and ultimately end homelessness.  
Stephen Wilder, LMSW
Medical Respite Manager 

Activities & Opportunities

Willie J. Mackey National Medical Respite Award

Nominations for the Wille J. Mackey Award are open. This award is named in honor of the late Willie J. Mackey, a dedicated member of the RCPN Steering Committee and a fierce advocate for medical respite care. This award recognizes an individual who has made a profound impact on their community through the delivery or advancement of medical respite care. The award is presented annually at the National Health Care for the Homeless Conference.

Nominations Open for RCPN Steering Committee 

RCPN Steering Committee nominations are open. The Steering Committee is committed to reflecting the diversity of the medical respite care field in its composition, including diversity of discipline, race, ethnicity, gender, gender identity, geography, and lived experience of homelessness. We encourage applications from hands-on medical respite providers, administrators, and funders. We are especially interested in consumer representatives.
Nominations close on March 1. Please read more about the nominations process here and consider nominating yourself, a colleague, or program participant.

Save the Date

National Health Care for the Homeless Conference & Policy Symposium
May 10-13, Seattle, WA
Registration is now open for the 2022 National Health Care for the Homeless Conference & Policy Symposium, which will be held May 10-13 in Seattle, Washington. The theme for this year’s conference is “Toward Health & Belonging.”
Join us for a conference curated for our NHCHC and NIMRC communities. Tuesday, May 10, includes the Medical Respite Pre-Conference Institute, a day of learning and connecting specifically around medical respite care. Register now to take advantage of early bird discounts:
  • ULTRA EARLY BIRD DISCOUNT OF 25% OFF ALL REGISTRATIONS (Pre-Conference Institutes, Main Conference, and Learning Labs) received by February 25. Use this code: EB25
  • EARLY BIRD DISCOUNT OF 15% OFF ALL REGISTRATIONS (Pre-Conference Institutes, Main Conference, and Learning Labs) received by March 9. Use this code: EB15
If the Council cancels the Conference or if a company or organization disallows in-person attendance by its employees, a 100 percent refund will be given regardless of date. For more information on the Council’s cancellation policy and other frequently asked questions, click here.

Join the March Webinar Series -- Homeless in the ED: Partnerships to Improve Care for People without Homes in Emergency Departments

  • March 16: What ED Providers Need to Know about Homelessness
  •  March 23: Harm Reduction in the ED
  • March 30: Discharge Planning and Medical Respite Care
We encourage medical respite care programs to join, and to invite their hospital partners. Register for the series here.

Respite Kudos & Accomplishments

Congratulations to the new members of the RCPN Steering Committee:
  • Brandon Cook, New Horizon Family Health Services, Greenville, SC
  • Liz Locatelli, Peninsula Healthcare Connections, San Jose, CA
  • Omar Marrero, Barbara McInnis House, Boston, MA
  • Laurie Nelson, Center for Respite Care, Inc., Cincinnati, O
Kudos to Neli Rowland, president and co-founder of A Safe Haven, which operates a COVID-19 Medical Respite Isolation space in Chicago, IL, who was awarded the 2021 Humanitarian Global Health Award by the Chicago Institute of Medicine. 
Read more about Neli and her award here.
If you would like to highlight a medical respite program or provider in the next RCPN newsletter, please send your “kudos” to Caitlin at 

Respite in the News

The awareness of medical respite care and medical respite programs across communities has grown! Many of our respite programs have been featured in the news, in addition to articles that identify medical respite care as a key intervention for people experiencing homelessness.
  • Medical respite care is highlighted as a critical health service for people experiencing homelessness
  • LTHC in Lafayette, IN, was featured on their local NPR station
  • The work of the Springfield, MO, Salvation Army was featured in this opinion piece, which includes medical respite care services
  • Circle the City in Phoenix, AZ, was featured in December and January for their work in caring for people who are COVID+
  • Women's Medical Respite in Springfield, MO, was featured for their work serving women experiencing homelessness
  • A new Oklahoma City program, also highlights the need for MRC, and shares about program with five beds
  • Center for Respite Care in Cincinnati, OH, was featured on the local news for their work and the need for community support
  • Bob Tavani House in Duluth, MN, was featured for their work providing medical respite care in their community
  • Shasta Community Health Center in Redding, CA, was able to open their new medical respite facility in partnership with Pathways to Housing and was featured here and here
  • The palliative care program for adults experiencing homelessness, part of Harborview and Edward Thomas house, was featured as part of one woman's story of end-of-life care and homelessness
  • Overview of homeless service gaps in Seattle,including the importance of MRC as part of a solution in providing health care to people experiencing homelessness
  • A research study finds Incarcerated and homeless individuals presenting to the emergency department required more and longer hospital care for COVID-19 than other infected patients, and advocates for medical respite as place for people to heal and recover
If you have a news story recognizing a medical respite/recuperative care program, please share it with us by emailing Caitlin at

Respite Care Providers' Network Information

  • If you are not already a member, please join the Respite Care Providers Network (RCPN). The mission of RCPN is to improve the health status of individuals who are homeless by supporting programs that provide medical respite and related services. Follow this link for more information and to join the RCPN.
  • Is your medical respite program profile in the NIMRC directory up to date? Complete this program profile form to update your information and view the directory here.
  • Does your program need technical assistance? Please contact Julia, Caitlin, Stephen, or Christa to request a TA meeting to help address your program’s needs!
  • Additional resources for medical respite/recuperative care can be found at
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