Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital Somerset Healing Homes

Hi Lesley. Hi! Welcome to your healing home. C’mon in. Welcome! This is your livingroom area. Robert Wood Johnson University
Hospital Somerset’s healing homes is a social impact and community investment
initiative in which families in need who cannot afford housing due to a chronic
condition will occupy one of our hospital owned homes for 18 to 24 months. Our goal is to really look into the community we serve and are we meeting
the needs of that community? Our Healing Homes project is really a small step in
a direction where if someone had an acute or chronic catastrophic illness
that unables them to really fulfill their societal norms, this is a helping
hand for them. This family is a very sweet and loving family. We have a single mom with two teenage boys. This struggle with my health has been a rough road you know from emergency surgeries to being bedridden. This entire time I’ve had to choose between
finances and my health. We have a social worker that’s really
going to look at all their needs. Do they have medical needs, financial needs,
psychological needs, social needs? And really help the family to create a
healthy life. RWJBarnabas Health is committed to housing. We know that when people live in safe and affordable housing they have improved health outcomes, both mental and physical as well as improved educational outcomes. A home is everything – a stable home and I don’t mean necessarily a house I just
mean a peaceful home. There were three organizations who really
helped develop the core of this program Somerset County Community
Development Central Jersey Housing Resource Center and Habitat for Humanity. We were honored as Raritan Valley Habitat for Humanity to be involved – to be asked to be part of this task force. We have learned in recent years
how critical a home is and particularly a stable, safe and healthy
home is to people’s long-term health. By collaborating together and working
together and utilizing each organizations expertise we were able to address an old issue
in a very new and innovative way. We asked questions like how long have you been homeless? Have you had a bankruptcy? Have you ever been
evicted? Do you have a chronic health condition? Do you have a mental health
condition? How many people are in your household? What is your income? Different measures and ultimately different ways of creating sort of a
composite picture of what someone’s challenges are so that we can identify
people who have the most challenges. Our work has just begun because while the
renovations to this house are wonderful and very exciting, until I know that
Lesley’s family is able to lead healthy self-sufficient lives and they’re going
on to do better things, then I can relax because that’s what this initiative
is all about. We’ve been in the house about three weeks now and it’s
peaceful like it’s like that’s the number one thing that I love about this
house – it’s like our little fortress of solitude. We have peace. It’s lifted a load off of me like I don’t know what. I feel like I can breathe easier I can
focus. I’m starting to get things in order now. I went to see a financial planner. We went through my entire bank statement – every single thing and so I’m
already making some changes. With Lesley, she comes on a weekly basis and we
started getting her on track of first figuring out how much was coming in and
tracking it and then also what was going out. This is just one stop that they’re gonna make on a great, long and healthy life. To know how many people took time
out of their life to help us and to put all of this together they truly are an army of angels in my opinion. So I’m just thankful and I’m more determined than ever because I know there’s an army of people cheering me on. RWJBarnabas Health Let’s be healthy together.

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