Addressing issues for many of the less fortunate in Saline County, the Homeless Health Initiative Free Clinic provides dental and medical services, and counseling and prescription assistance for children and adults. These children and adults would not otherwise receive care except through costly emergency room visits. Fast forward. These services, when provided and utilized, are steps to residents gaining employment, achieving an education and obtaining housing. Empowering homeless families and individuals to improve self-sufficiency, self-advocacy, and holistic recovery, the Ashby House is fulfilling their mission with the help of a grant awarded by the Salina Area United Way.
Melissa is a client who had lost everything. Through a series of unfortunate events she found herself stranded in Salina. Gone was her purse. Gone were her medications. Her ID had been stolen and even her dentures were gone. Through a new collaborative program lead by Ashby House, the Homeless Health Initiative, Melissa had resources available. Melissa had hope.
The Homeless Health Initiative, a collaboration with Salina Family Healthcare Center and KU Medical School, provided her professional help beginning with a screening and evaluation. She received mental health counseling. Melissa got her medications. After being seen at Salina Family Healthcare Dental, she received a new set of dentures. It moved this senior to tears. She shared what a blessing it was to have these resources and benefit from the generosity of so many giving souls.
Melissa is just one of 600-750 clients helped annually by the Ashby House. Many are employed but still living in poverty. The Homeless Health Initiative (HHI) addresses the gap in physical, dental, and mental health services afforded to Salina homeless families. HHI is initiating a program that offers both onsite education and healthcare to those residing in Ashby Houses’ 7 properties. In its first year 302 adults and 44 children received this program’s services. Within its second year of operation alone, 92% of clinic participants reported their immediate medical needs were met within 30 days of their arrival to Ashby House.
Want to make a difference? Donations are one way to help. A donation of $26 directly to the Ashby House can cover a month’s supply of essential medications such as blood pressure and diabetes medications. Volunteering is another is another way to help. Volunteering transportation for clients to and from appointments necessary for ongoing care is always welcomed. The Clinic is also on the hunt for mental health and eye care specialists who want to make an amazing difference in the lives of Salina’s less fortunate.
Thanks to the generosity of our community the Salina Area United Way provides funding to seven collaborative programs. The Homeless Health Initiative is one. To learn more visit: http://www.unitedwaysalina.org/our-work . The Salina Area United Way fights for the health, education and financial stability of every person in every community.