Chris, nearly 58 years old, has been homeless for most of his adult life. He reports that he has stayed in “every Salvation Army shelter in the country.” He lost a leg in a car accident many years ago. When he found himself in Austin two years ago, he immediately located a church, and was soon allowed to pitch his tent on the grounds in return for “watching out for vandals and teenagers.”
He lived in his tent, reading voraciously and interacting with people very little, until he had a series of mild strokes. Somehow he managed to get himself up a hill and to the street where he was noticed. An ambulance was called, and Chris was admitted to the South Austin Hospital. From there he was admitted to the Front Steps’ Recuperative Care program.
Jeff was admitted to the RCP after a below-the-knee amputation. He had been living at the ARCH shelter and going to Brackenridge for daily wound-care treatments in an effort to save his leg; however, when those efforts failed, he was referred to the Front Steps’ Recuperative Care program for recuperation as well as to give him time to adjust emotionally to the loss of his leg. And indeed Jeff was despondent, weepy, angry, and difficult to engage.