The staff at Vanderbilt Hospital has become a magnet for the homeless, but it’s not all bad news.
One of the hospital’s main patient-care centers has seen an uptick in people staying overnight due to the heat.
Stony Brook University Medical Center and Vanderbilt University Medical School reported a total of 663 overnight stays in January, an increase of 1.5 percent from the same time last year, the university said.
The increase in overnight stays is due to Vanderbilt’s new shelter in the new Stony Brook Hospital building on the University campus.
The new facility has a capacity of more than 5,000 beds, and it’s the first in the state of New York to do so, the school said in a news release.
More than half of the overnight stays were for the mentally ill, according to the news release, while a total 1,936 were for adults with substance abuse problems.
The hospital says the increase in patients staying overnight comes despite the fact that Vanderbilt is facing a severe shortage of beds, with about 200 beds available at any given time.
Stony Brooke Hospital is the only other hospital in the county with a shortage, the hospital said.
The hospital says it’s committed to increasing the number of beds in the hospital and is working with local governments to provide new beds.