Tuesday, August 3, 2021
Monday, February 8, 2021
It is February in the Flathead Valley and until lately winter has not been nearly as severe as it could be. It’s easy to actually dismiss things as mild and we can go about our day because the snow isn’t piled up. That is a fair assessment. But what if you have to live in the elements?
Did you know it doesn’t have to be brutally cold to experience hypothermia? If a person suffers ongoing exposure to even 70 degrees without thermal protection and food or nutrients, he or she can become hypothermic. Honestly, some of the most dangerous environmental situations occur in temperate climates when the temperature drops suddenly.
It is essential to try and recognize early symptoms of hypothermia is. There are three stages of hypothermia related to the body’s core temperature:
• Mild hypothermia, 90°–95°. This is when heart and respiratory rates increase. Other indicators are, hyperventilation, difficulty walking, slurred speech, impaired judgment, pronounced shivering, and frequent urination.
• Moderate hypothermia, 82°–90°. During this stage, a person experiences a lowered pulse, shallow breathing and slowed respiratory rate, slowed reflexes, shivering stops, confusion and disorientation, common cardiac arrhythmias, and paradoxical undressing.
• Severe hypothermia, less than 82°. The most advanced stage is evidenced by hypotension, slow pulse, pulmonary edema, coma, ventricular arrhythmias (including ventricular fibrillation), and possible asystole or “flat line” EKG.
At the shelter, cold weather contingency plans are in place and we hope to get everyone in from the cold that needs it.
Please remember those who either live in the elements or spend great portions of their days outdoors in the winter. We welcome donations and right now warm hats, coats and socks can go a long way in helping save lives.
Wednesday, February 3, 2021
Wednesday, December 30, 2020
This year has brought a new transition in Case Management at Samaritan House. Our Case Managers, Maya Negron & Nancy Lisk, have given the shelter program a success-oriented update and we are seeing the hard work of our staff and our clients pay off. Nancy and Maya both come from social work backgrounds and have given this community many years of their time and service.
Our program has been enhanced to assist our residents in pursuing goals of self-sustainability while providing connection in accessing resources. Case management services are striving to meet with each resident weekly and sometimes more if requested. During these meetings case management connects & refers our clients to local resources. Maya & Nancy use this time to give affirmation & celebrate recognition to our clients when they’re striving to rise above their circumstances. The shelter is working hard to provide a safe space where residents can decompress and share experiences. This program helps residents have a stronger support system and rapport with Case Managers, creating hope and confidence in their own journeys.
One important aspect of case management that has shifted is the focus on autonomy. Nancy states “My favorites moments are when clients learn to self-advocate.” Samaritan House is seeing a trend in our shelter resident’s ability to be more financially stable in a shorter time period. Our case managers are using assessments and working with clients to develop employment and housing plans and then using these to hold clients accountable in tracking their success.
Case Management is essential for our homeless community to move forward and overcome homelessness. Without adequate access to resources and services they are left in the same debilitating cycle. Samaritan House is working hard to evolve and change to the needs that our clients are seeking.