Here at Health Care Center for the Homeless(HCCH), we strongly emphasize the importance of caring for the entire patient. This is a huge umbrella of needs that we are consistently happy to help fulfill and under that great big umbrella is vision.
Jason Holman, the Vision Center Coordinator at HCCH, definitely believes that Vision is an important element of our organization.
“A lot of our patients have never even had an eye exam,” says Holman. “Something like glaucoma has virtually no warning signs—you don’t know when you have it, you just suddenly can’t see. There are so many factors that affect vision tremendously.”
Lions Community Eye Clinic Director Susan Hudoba-Lewis also sees providing vision care as vital. In 2007 she approached the HCCH with her already established Lions Club program “Project: Right to Sight.”
“There were already a lot of missions providing recycled glasses all over the world through the Lions Club. And I really felt that we needed to find a way to provide on a local level,” says Hudoba-Lewis. “So we ended up approaching the HCCH and saying ‘we want to work in partnership with you.’”
And so they did. Once a month a group of Lions Club volunteers and optometrist Robert Mauger come to the Orange Blossom Family Health Center to provide eye exams and glasses to both their patients and ours.
Today, William (pictured below) came to utilize this service. Hudoba-Lewis helped William try on a couple glasses options and discussed how they felt, fit, worked and of course, looked.
“I want a pair that makes me look a little younger—I don’t want any of those old man glasses,” William jokes.
After William and Hudoba-Lewis decided on the pair he’d be walking out wearing he thanks her, saying “I appreciate this very much. My world is completed ‘cause I can see it now!”
From January of this year to today, “Project: Right to Sight” has provided about 28,000 recycled glasses to those who truly needed them.
“There are so many people that cannot afford glasses,” Hudoba-Lewis explains. “And when we’re dealing with this population—they can’t just not see; they can’t get a job because they can’t see. So this is really critical.”
As William walks out of the Orange Blossom Family Health Center he happily exclaims to those still waiting for their glasses, “I can see! I can see!”
For more information on “Project: Right to Sight” please visit: http://www.projectrighttosight.org/
And for more information on the HCCH’s Vision Program please visit: http://hcch.org/vision.htm