We’re cheering for Andre Harris, R.N., who received the 2021 Willie J. Mackey National Medical Respite Care Award from the National Health Care for the Homeless Council this week at its annual conference. The award spotlights someone who has made “a profound impact on their community.”

Andre coordinates the Transition to Wellness program based at our Novato headquarters, which serves Marin residents leaving hospital care without stable housing. Ritter Center and local hospitals partner with us to provide this critical space to recuperate safely without going back to the streets.

The program has served more than 500 people over the last decade. Many take steps to reconnect with family and pursue housing options during their stay. Last year, the program saved an estimated $2.5 million in avoided hospital days.

Andre joined the program as a case manager, began his nursing studies and became a registered nurse in 2012. He supports patients from the moment of intake, helping with prescriptions, transportation, insurance and communicating with medical providers.

During the pandemic, he also administered rapid COVID-19 tests at our shelter and gave broad health-related support to our team. Hats off to our in-house hero!