New Recuperative Care Center for Homeless Hospital Super-Utilizers Opens in Midway City

The following is a press release from an organization unaffiliated with Voice of OC. The views expressed here are not those of Voice of OC.

For Immediate Release: April 25, 2017


New Recuperative Care Center for Homeless Hospital Super-Utilizers Opens in Midway City

MIDWAY CITY, CA – Illumination Foundation is opening a new Recuperative Care Center in Midway City, the only one in the County of Orange.  Illumination Foundation’s new facility has 45 beds and 5 individual single occupancy rooms for recuperative care and it will serve over 1000 clients per year. This is Illumination Foundation’s third comprehensive approach shelter that addresses high-end hospital users.

Entrance, common areas and case management room


Dorms: womens, single occupancy and mens dorms


Recuperative Care is a homeless shelter that serves as a stable discharge plan for local homeless who need a place to recover after medical treatment. Illumination Foundation’s innovative program, based on a social model, is designed to ensure that patients will have a safe environment and a place to stay off the streets to properly recover and prevent a return to the emergency room.

“Homeless clients come from hospitals or other contracted providers into our recuperative care programs to heal from acute and chronic conditions and oftentimes they are also experiencing mental health instability and/or drug/alcohol addiction.

Paul Leon, Susan Price and Paul Cho

We feel that the best way to assist people in healing from homelessness is to provide them

with the care they need in a holistic manner, addressing their mental, physical and spiritual needs. Furthermore, we strive to address the needs with securing a stable living environment,” said Paul Leon, Illumination Foundation CEO.

The Recuperative Care Center in Midway City provides individuals with interim housing, daily meals, integrated medical oversight, intensive case management, mental health counseling, substance use counseling, connections to social services, transportation to and from medical appointments, and the opportunity to end their cycle of homelessness as they work towards self-sufficiency and permanent housing. Over 33% of Recuperative Care clients have been connected to transitional or permanent housing.

“The new recuperative care will feature a more robust behavioral health program that will provide client-centered services for those wanting mental health therapy and substance use counseling.  Services provided will be strengths-based, holistic, empowering and tailored to both client self-determination and the length of stay and will range from brief, solution focused to delving further into longer term treatment goals,” says Melissa Querry, director of behavioral health at Illumination Foundation.

Illumination Foundation’s Recuperative Care is one of 85 nationwide, and the only one in the Orange County. The program was piloted in 2008 with several key partners and has grown to serve over 3,000 clients. The program proved its efficiency in time cutting recidivism to emergency rooms in half, and saved hospitals over $19M.

For more information contact April Rios at or 949-273-0555 ext.203.

About Illumination Foundation: Illumination Foundation is an Orange County-based 501(c)(3) nonprofit dedicated to providing targeted, interdisciplinary services for the most vulnerable homeless clients to break or prevent the cycle of homelessness. Illumination Foundation pioneered an innovative and cost-effective solution to advance health and housing stability for the chronically homeless community. To date, Illumination Foundation’s housing programs have served 2,316 families and have provided medical and social services to over 20,000 individuals. For more information, visit

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  • Susan Cramer

    This above article by Tsears sounds more like a College 101 class term paper and not one of real value or experience. It “parrots” good things, but the Midway City location does not DO any of these things well enough to even mention them as an asset.
    (1) “provides individuals with interim housing” ~ for about 10 days, yes they do. Many are thankful for a roof over their head for ten days. But, the pictures above are misleading. The men’s dorm smells like a smoke factory and is unkept. No staff helps in there at all. Patients can do their own laundry ~ if they can actually walk, bend, lift, stretch, etc.; otherwise, forget it. And the 5 private rooms are not suites as pictured. They do not serve meals in their rooms or provide a desk or anything but a bed, some bunk beds. Again, patients may launder sheets and replace them IF they can actually function physically in that way.
    (2) “daily meals” ~ with little nutritional value (chicken nuggets, french fries, fish sticks, tilapia filets cooked dry, iceberg lettuce, jello, cheese sauce nachos with hot peppers (as a meal in itself), from a window that is supposed to stay open for 1/2 hour, but doesn’t. There is very little fresh food – mostly stuff you buy frozen for a three year old. No cooking skills in that kitchen. The staff can also eat from there when they want, often during times they should be at their post doing their job. They have a key.
    (3) “integrated medical oversight” ~ this means they keep all medications (prescribed or OTC) patients bring in locked up and give them out during business hours (supposedly 8 am to 11 pm). No doctors on site or medical exams or treatment. All medical treatment is outsourced and off site. And, it is a rule there that no staff member may touch any patient to help them.
    (4) “intensive case management” and “connections to social services” ~ This seems to be just cameras in every room, an online questionnaire that puts people in a “system” that is not visible or accessible to them and a paper lists of homeless shelters, most of which many have already inquired about. Intake and export are seemingly the case management’s only duty. Not much follow up or assistance or encouragement other than that.
    (5) “mental health counseling” ~ no, not counseling or even compassion. Maybe some patients help each other. But, staff does not counsel unless they notify the patient they see a disciplinary problem and are marking their file accordingly; sometimes with false or misleading information.
    (6) “substance use counseling” “transportation to and from medical appointments” ~ no on-site counseling, encouragement, or addressing “mental, physical and spiritual needs.” Staff rarely talks with patients. “Transportation” system is highly flawed.
    (7) “the opportunity to end their cycle of homelessness” ~ refer to case management comment above. There is little opportunity or encouragement to end someone’s cycle of homelessness. I highly question that 33% statistic. In fact, many are not even in a “cycle” yet and suffer from treatment there with another source of hopelessness and bias by the moneyed.

    (Further) What they DO provide is a bed and roof over the patient’s head. THAT is actually a great help. Praises for that. But, that does not need to cost $100 or even $50 a day. Any hotel will tell you that profit margin on any of their rooms are more than 50% and that is with daily maid service. Add an oven and a mini refrigerator (which most hotels already have) and all they need is a van to help people get to the grocery store (with their own food stamps) and medical appointments once or twice a week. Plus, then everyone would actually have a private room wherein they could actually sleep at night.

    Don’t be fooled. This program is providing jobs for staff and helping staff stay employed, not patients. Time is the recuperative factor; not the skills of staff. Time with a roof over their heads away from further danger is provided. Thank God for that! There is no effective “program” at Midway City IF that helps recuperation or ends homelessness other than a safe haven. Not much “mental, physical and spiritual needs” help from staff. Staff is not even allowed to change bandages. But, they can watch and get paid for it. They don’t even have good babysitting skills or actions. There is a better way more effective and humane for patients that need a place to stay after hospital if someone would actually take it seriously and see the truth. Most people have no idea, though they profess to subjectively. Half the problem of homelessness is that no one actually values or listens with good ears to the unfortunate. They assume way too much and listen accurately way too little, if at all. I was reminded of that firefighting scene with the Girls Scouts “helping” in Red Skelton’s movie “The Fuller Brush Man.” (1948)