Advocacy is Important

“Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves, for the rights of all who are destitute.” Proverbs 31:8

Advocacy is so important.  You and I most likely have someone in our life that will speak up for us, represent us and fight for us should we not be able to speak for ourselves.  Not everyone has someone that will do that.  Many times that “someone” is the staff of The Father’s Heart.

Sometimes, a guest needs advocacy over the phone, sometimes in court, or sometimes in the hospital.  Recently, however, it was a new kind of advocacy.  This time it was actually refusing to receive a patient being released from the hospital.

The former guest arrived in a Ride to Care van in very bad shape.  He had completed his stay at the hospital and he was being brought to The Father’s Heart.  There was one problem. He was being brought to us in a much different condition than the last we had seen him. With a patch over his right eye and sitting in a wheel chair, it was obvious that he needed advocacy.  It made no sense for him to return to us in his condition.

After contacting the hospital that released him, they agreed that he should be returned and sent to a more appropriate place for care.  They instructed us to tell the driver to return him. When we returned to speak to the driver, the guest was outside of the van sitting on our steps with his bag of belongings and a walker. The driver refused to return him saying that they were not authorized to do returns.  We refused to accept him into our care and made it clear that it was inappropriate for him to be left at The Father’s Heart. After the driver spent a considerable amount of time on the phone, she drove off, leaving the guest sitting on the steps of our parking lot.

When we asked the guest why he had stayed in the hospital, he said he didn’t know.  He just remembered waking up in the hospital.  He he had been told that he had a TBI (Traumatic Brain Injury).  His speech was now slurred.  He had something wrong with the casing of his brain stem and he could barely walk with the use of a walker.  We told him that we would call a ride so that he could return to the hospital and get rerouted to a better facility that could give him the care he deserved.

Before we were able to make the call for a ride, another medical transport van arrived.  The driver was pleasant and assured us that he would take good care of our guest and return him to the hospital.  He was kind and patient as he gathered the guest things and helped him into another wheel chair to transport him into the van.

Had we not advocated for this guest, he would have been left to the streets to fend for himself with the inability to walk, speak clearly and see properly.  We will always be a voice for those that are not heard or are unable to speak on their own behalf.  This is what The Father’s Heart does.  We advocate for those that cannot advocate for themselves.