We couldn’t be more excited about this news! Thanks to grant funding that was awarded to us under the “New Access Point Funding,” an element of the Health Resources and Services Administration, we will be opening two new medical centers that will primarily focus on providing medical care to homeless individuals.
“Our service areas are Orange County, Osceola County and Seminole County,” says our CEO Bakari Burns. “But because we’re located in downtown Orlando, there are a lot of transportation barriers. So to fulfill our mission, we really must expand to meet the unique needs of the homeless in this community.”
One of our new sites will be located at the Community Hope Center in Kissimmee, while the other will be at the Samaritan Resource Center in East Orange County–both already provide case management services to the homeless and at-risk population. The staffing at each of these new facilities will include one physician, two nurse practitioners, two licensed clinical social workers and seven clinical support staff members. Both of the new locations will be operational forty hours a week and are slated to open during the first few months of the upcoming year.
Mary Downey, Executive Director at Community Hope Center, describes the relationship between her organization and ours as a perfect marriage.
“There are really no services available for people and everyone is going to the ER and that’s not the proper place for primary care,” Downey explains. “So for us to be able to partner with Health Care Center for the Homeless and provide this needed service to our homeless and low-income folks…it’s really a dream come true for us.”
The Launch Director at Samaritan Resource Center, Sheila Sablain, is also aware of the need of a medical facility for her client-base.
“There’s such a large portion of the homeless population that need medical attention–especially mental,” Sablain describes. “There are so many running around with high blood pressure or open wounds. So being able to have this available to them is going to be wonderful.”
We think so too!