Larry Orr 6-20 web

“St. Patrick Center’s Hospital to Housing program worked out well for me. They did a great deal for me and I really appreciate it.”

Looking back on his experiences, Larry says, “I’ve lived a couple of lives.” He and his family moved to St. Louis from Alabama when he was a child. He went to Parkway West High School, worked for his mom and as a restaurant cook.

He suffered a traumatic head injury in a car accident. “When I woke up from the coma, I had to learn to walk, talk, read and write all over again.”

Larry has suffered a lot of physical and mental pain throughout his life. “When I didn’t want to feel something, I drank. When I needed to ease my pain, I used drugs.” When he felt ill, Larry would go to an emergency department and spend three or four days at the hospital.

St. Patrick Center is no stranger to Larry. Homelessness crept into his life when he got kicked out of the place he was living in. Over the years, Larry has participated in several of our programs, including Shamrock Club and Assertive Community Treatment. “The worst thing about living on the streets is the cold.” He developed some chronic health conditions due to his homelessness.

Enter Hospital to Housing, St. Patrick Center’s new partnership program with Barnes Jewish Hospital, BJC Healthcare, Foundation for Barnes Jewish Hospital and Behavioral Health Network of Greater St. Louis. The primary purpose of Hospital to Housing is to identify frequent emergency department users who are homeless and provide them with housing and support services. Larry joined the program and was soon placed into an apartment, where he meets regularly with case managers.

Today, Larry is peaceful and grateful to have a place of his own. “I died once, but got my brain back and I’m still here, so life goes on.”

See our Hospital to Housing Impact Report

Published August 24, 2020