Formed in 2020, the Health + Housing coalition seeks to address the challenges medically complex homeless individuals in the Omaha Council Bluffs Metro face through the design of a continuum of services that identifies frequent users of healthcare systems and emergency shelters and connect them into the appropriate level of care.

The Health + Housing Coalition received funding to pilot medical respite in the Omaha Council Bluffs Metro Area. 

Medical Respite Care is short-term, post-acute care for persons experiencing homelessness who are too ill or frail to recover from a physical illness or injury on the streets or in shelter but are not ill enough to be in a hospital.

In October, 2021, the RFP selection committee completed its review process and confirmed the lead agency to pilot medical respite in our community: Charles Drew Health Center, Inc. (CDHC) in partnership with Siena Francis House (SFH). We extend our congratulations to these two organizations!

What’s Happening Now?


  • – The medical respite pilot launched on August 1, 2022. Check out media coverage on the program here.
  • – Coalition partners remain involved during the medical respite implementation phase. Quarterly meetings will be held in 2022-24. These organizations serve in important roles during the pilot, from referring patients to the medical respite program, providing wraparound services, or serving as a safe place for discharge when patients leave medical respite.
  • – Medical respite education is now available. Hear from Charles Drew Health, Siena Francis House, CyncHealth, and The Wellbeing Partners as they educate health system partners on the medical respite admission criteria and acceptance process for the five private beds that will begin serving unhoused patients/clients in July 2022. This is intended for hospital staff who work in discharge planning. Access here

This project is made possible through a three-year implementation fund from the CommonSpirit Health Mission and Ministry Fund (MMF).

The Health + Housing Core Project Team:


Sarah Stanislav, CHI Health

Bob Sheehan, MACCH

Sheena Helgenberger, The Wellbeing Partners

Julia Dobbins, National Health Care for the Homeless Council

Questions? Please contact Sheena Helgenberger