First-of-its-kind partnership between College of Nursing and Salvation Army begins
USF Health College of Nursing is celebrating a new partnership with the Salvation Army that will not only provide nursing students with hands-on learning opportunities, but improve the health and wellness of our community.
On January 25, 2022, the Salvation Army unveiled a one-stop social services and residential facility, the Red Shield Center. The 39,000-square foot will serve as an emergency shelter for homeless men and women.
The facility will house 140 clients with state-of-the-art amenities and flexible spaces to suit many needs. Through our partnership, onsite care will be provided by nursing students.
Dr. Alicia Rossiter, College of Nursing Director of Alumni and Community Engagement and Chief Officer of Military and Veteran Affairs, said, “It will become a natural rotation each semester. Several students will come each week to help with screenings, blood pressure checks and provide health education.”
A Recuperative Care Program will provide shelter for individuals who are homeless and have recently been discharged from local hospitals. Not only will this provide an opportunity to heal in a safe environment, but also to regain stability.
“I have no doubt that through this partnership we can build that safety net that not only strengthens physical and spiritual growth, but also physical health and wellbeing,” Rossiter said.
Marilyn Horton, Doctor of Nursing Practice student, plans to do an in-depth needs-assessment for the clients, regarding their health issues. With those assessments and additional medicine reconciliation, she hopes to reduce readmissions to our local hospitals.
“I’m fortunate to be a part of the USF team that is doing so much for the community,” she said.
In addition to health care and safe housing, each client will have access to hot showers, daily meals and laundry rooms. Additionally, caseworkers will provide individual case management and counseling to help find educational and employment opportunities. A Veterans Program is also available to offer a variety of services and resources to acquire stable housing.
Salvation Army Major David Swyers says this partnership is the start of a change.
“We’re in a new building,” he began explaining. “If all we ever dreamed of was a new building, then we didn’t dream big enough because a building is just a tool that we can use to really do the work that we were called to do.”
Story by Cassidy Delamarter