Dr. Jim Withers

Honoring Pittsburgh's Homeless Who Died in 2014

Dec 19, 2014
Mark Nootbaar / 90.5 WESA

Under the overpass at Fort Pitt Boulevard and Grant Street in Downtown Pittsburgh is a wall that holds 132 bronze plaques. Six more plaques will be added Sunday to remember the six homeless Pittsburghers known to have died while living in the streets in 2014.

The 17th annual candlelight memorial service will be held there Sunday evening at 7 o’clock..

“It’s to call attention to the tragedy of homelessness,” says Stephanie Chiappini, program manager of Pittsburgh Mercy Health System’s Operation Safety Net, which  hosts the vigil each year.

Photo courtesy of Operation Safety Net, Pittsburgh Mercy Health System

Read and listen to a story about Dr. Jim Withers as part of a series honoring the individuals who make a difference in people’s lives: 90.5 WESA Celebrates People Making a Difference.

For more than 20 years, Withers has been making his rounds in a most unusual way as “The Pittsburgh Street Doctor.”

Dr. Jim Withers: Bringing Healthcare to the Streets

Feb 5, 2014
Pittsburgh Mercy Health System

There is a doctor in Pittsburgh that still makes house calls, to a certain extent. For more than 20 years Dr. Jim Withers’s house calls have brought healthcare to the homeless.  What began as a nightly service in 1992 has become the non-profit, Operation Safety Net.

"I was just frustrated with the gap between how healthcare looks at people and how much each person's own reality is unique to them," says Withers.