The Health Communication Research Institute, Inc.
The Health Communication Research Institute, Inc. (HCRI, Inc.), a 501(c)(3) nonprofit corporation, was founded in 1989 with a mission to improve communication around end-of-life issues and to reduce health disparities among underserved populations, including the homeless. Since 2015, the focus of HCRI, Inc. has been to establish Joshua's House, the first hospice house for those experiencing homelessness at the end of life on the West Coast.
5025 J Street Suite 311
Sacramento, CA 95819
|County or Parish:||Sacramento|
As the Founder/Executive Director of HCRI, Inc., I first experienced the reality of the situation while I was a professor at the University of California, Davis School of Medicine (2005-2016) and helping to connect newly diagnosed cancer patients to resources to guide them through the cancer experience with less stress and fewer physical and emotional issues. When I discovered that some of those men and women were homeless, did not have caregivers and could not receive supportive services/resources, I was heart-broken. As a cancer survivor myself, I could not imagine going through having cancer and being homeless.
In 2014, my concern turned into a passion when I lost a 34-year-old grandson, Joshua Lee, who died on the streets in Nebraska after struggling with homelessness and drug addiction for most of his adult life. He was a loving, smart and compassionate young man who wanted to help others, especially those living on the streets with serious illnesses. I retired from UCD and have focused on creating Joshua's House in his memory, the first hospice house for those experiencing homelessness at the end of life on the West Coast and the 7th in the country.
We have purchased a building at 1501 North C Street, Sacramento, CA and with the help of The Thomas Law Group, Wood Rodgers, Inc., AP Thomas Construction, Inc. and Evasion Metal Works, Inc., we will create a beautiful residential care facility that will serve 20-22 terminally ill homeless men and women at any one time. Local hospitals will provide quality hospice care and we will provide shelter, clothing, meals, a range of activities and supportive comfort care. No one should die alone on the streets or along our rivers!"
Marlene M. von Friedrichs-Fitzwater, MA, Ph.D., MPH
The Health Communication Research Institute, Inc. (Joshua's House)
-- Marlene M. von Friederichs-Fitzwater, Founder/Executive Director