Salem Health Foundation Invests $270,000 in Health Care for the Homeless

The Foundation’s board of directors approved the funding for medical respite in a new affordable housing location in Salem.

At his State of the City address on March 28, Mayor Chuck Bennett announced an innovative partnership between City of Salem, Salem Housing Authority, Salem Health and Salem Health Foundation. The partnership will provide medical respite in SHA’s newly-acquired housing property on Fisher Road, which will have 29 units of single room occupancy affordable housing.

Medical respite is a short-term, specialized program focused on homeless persons who have a medical injury/illness and may also have mental illness or substance abuse issues. Some homeless individuals aren’t sick enough to stay in the hospital, but are too sick to recover on the streets. Respite care bridges the gap between acute medical services currently provided in hospitals/emergency rooms, homeless shelters and more permanent housing options.

The funds provided by Salem Health Foundation will secure space for medical respite, and Salem Health’s care management team plans to support patients placed in the facility. Salem Health’s team of intensive care managers will support the complex needs of patients requiring medical respite after discharge from the hospital.

“This investment in our community will help us improve care to one of our most vulnerable populations,” said Kathy Gordon, Salem Health Foundation board chair. “It is wonderful to see the coordinated efforts of so many agencies in making this project a success.”

While in respite care, patients can access hospitality, medical and support services that assist in their recuperation. It focuses on respect for human dignity of all residents and staff. Residents actively participate in the process of their recuperation and discharge planning.

The Salem Health and Salem Health West Valley foundations are committed to raising, managing and distributing funds to help Salem Health achieve its mission of improving the health and well-being of the people and community it serves. The foundations offer scholarships to students pursuing medical or medically related careers, fund projects like Let’s All Play Place adaptive playground and the Connections Van, assist patients in need of financial help and sponsor nationally-known speakers on health topics. For more information or to donate online, please visit

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