ShelterCare Quarterly Newsletter: Winter 2012

RAP The Royal Avenue Program : A safe harbor during the storm

A homeless person arrives at Sacred Heart’s Emergency Room deeply confused, suffering from exposure and dehydration and terrified by the mental health crisis he is experiencing. After doctors tend to the easily treatable
symptoms, a critically important decision has to be made. Emergency rooms are not designed to support a patient in a prolonged recovery. At Sacred Heart, the next step might be the hospital’s psychiatric ward. But for many clients, this is a higher and more expensive level of care than they require. This is where ShelterCare’s Royal Avenue Program, affectionately known as RAP, shines. Established in 1988, RAP was the first non‐hospital based psychiatric crisis intervention program in the state and has served as a model for subsequent programs. The program provides housing with 24‐hour staffing, medication dispensation, counseling, food, and clothing. Clients are
typically referred to RAP through hospital emergency departments, various mental health agencies, CAHOOTS, or individual psychiatrists.

People stay at the program for ten days, a period of time that allows medications and other treatments to take hold and the crisis to stabilize. Staff at RAP are equipped to deal with a wide variety of difficult situations ranging from basic needs to suicide intervention. Serving approximately 600 clients each year, RAP is our highest volume program, but one that often receives little attention. Call for a tour (see page 3) to learn more about this community resource.

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