Medical Help for the Homeless

By Dr. Chad Audi

What happens when you’re homeless and need medical attention? In most cases, the uninsured and underinsured do not receive the medical treatment they deserve, just like anyone else.

Well, we’re doing something about that here in Detroit. The Detroit Rescue Mission Ministries (DRMM) has partnered with S.A.Y. Detroit (Super All Year Detroit) — a non-profit charity founded by best-selling author Mitch Albom to help improve the lives of Detroit’s homeless — to open a free medical clinic solely for homeless children and their mothers. It’s the first of its kind in the area. At the grand opening, children were given free flu shots and their mothers received diabetes screening and blood pressure testing.

The Children & Women’s Clinic was created and funded through the generosity of local residents and businesses. It is open 24/7, 365 days a year and is staffed with nurse practitioners and on-call physicians, including a pediatrics specialist, OB/GYN, and nutritionist.

More than 550,000 people in the Detroit area alone have no health insurance. Almost 100,000 of them are children ages 10 and under. Imagine what the total number is across the country! It’s mind-boggling to think about all the people who are not having their basic medical needs met. And it’s even more disturbing to think about the children who are not receiving immunizations or having minor health issues taken care of before they intensify.

The homeless are entitled to medical check-ups, inoculations, examinations — basics that we take for granted. After all, we’re talking about saving thousands of lives.


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