February 21, 2020

Doctors and nurses take to the streets to care for patients experiencing homelessness

Here are three stories about people coming together to create renewal to inspire you as you head into the weekend.

A medical team from USC heads to the streets of Los Angeles to help patients who are sick and experiencing homelessness. Photo by Ioana Cristiana/Unsplash

Each week, The Renewal Project shares three stories from around the country that highlight the innovative solutions people are creating in their communities. This week we’re looking at the many ways groups of people are coming together to overcome challenges. What are the innovative ideas in your hometown? Tell us at info@therenewalproject.com.

Hitting the streets: In L.A. County, an estimated 75 percent of people experiencing homelessness live on the street as opposed to shelters. The University of Southern California is helping to ensure these residents have access to necessary health care, so it funded physician assistant Brett Feldman and a four-person medical team to take their medical practice to the street.

[Read more: What homeless shelters really need]

The group regularly visits more than 70 patients. “Our vision is that all unsheltered have access to basic healthcare,” Feldman told the Los Angeles Times. The practice of street medicine is expanding nationwide, the newspaper reports, with more than 90 teams similar to Feldman’s working across the country.

Read the full story here.

Dispatch from South Florida:

Struggling to process an unthinkable tragedy, a group of middle schoolers in Miami focused on a message of hope—and packaged it in the form of a magazine. On Feb. 14, 2018, students of Everglades K-8 Center heard the news of the mass shooting at Parkland High School, just 50 miles from their campus. As teachers struggled to find the right words to explain the traumatic event, students realized that they wanted to find a way to express how they were feeling, so they created a magazine called First Shot.

The publication features a wide range of writings—from persuasive essays about gun reform policies to drawings of victims and poetry. “Our goal is for all of them to listen to us, the youths, because we are the future,” eighth-grader and club member Susana Martinez told NPR. The club is currently trying to raise enough money to send copies of First Shot to all U.S. Senate and House members.

Listen to the story here.

Building community by building trust: This Alpharetta, Georgia, meet-up isn’t your average dinner club. The members of Race Relations Dialogue get together once a month to talk about issues regarding race in order to create a better understanding among neighbors and build a stronger community. Jack McBride, a white, 85-year-old former priest who lives in nearby Canton, started the group in 2018. He was inspired by group conversations he had at church. As a priest in the 1960’s, McBride attended civil rights marches in Montgomery. “I could never stand people being discriminated against. It always bothered me,” he told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

The group often has guest speakers like the Alpharetta police chief, and uses materials like podcasts to kick off discussions. “You have to feel comfortable with each other to go to that place,” group member Chiquita Walton told the newspaper. “We’ve created a sense of trust and a greater sense of community.”

Read the full story here.

The Renewal Project

The Renewal Project, made possible by Allstate, tells the stories of individuals and organizations who are solving problems in their communities.
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