Do you remember the first time your child had a cough? How about the first time he was running a fever? If youâ€™re like most parents you waited about ten minutes and then picked up the phone to call your childâ€™s pediatrician, the same pediatrician who has been caring for him since day one. Now for a moment imagine your child with that same cough or fever, but because of tough circumstances you find yourself having to spend the night huddled under an overpass in downtown or in one of the many shelters around Atlanta. You know that your child is getting sick, and youâ€™re worried, but you also know that a trip to the Doctor must be weighed against providing food, finding shelter and having warm clothes. So you decide to wait, just a day or two, then three, then four, as your child progressively worsens. Finally, the cough is so bad that your only choice is a trip to the Emergency Room in hopes that your childâ€™s condition hasnâ€™t worsened to a point it canâ€™t be quickly remedied.
For over 10,000 on any given night in Atlanta this is not a story on a screen they are casually reading through, but rather the reality of life. Preventative healthcare and checkups arenâ€™t something they dread because of the long wait time in the Doctorâ€™s office, but rather a necessity that has become a luxury they canâ€™t afford. Statistics show us that having regular primary care, like checkups and routine visits, can have a significant impact on the quality of life and long term health of an individual, however for someone dealing with homelessness this simply isnâ€™t an option most of the time.
Homeless patient care has always been a priority for the Good Samaritan Health Center, and one of the three primary demographics we serve. However, in response to the growing need, on August 28th the center will be opening its Homeless Clinic. The Homeless Clinic will operate one day a month, with the normal center closing its doors and all the staff and doctors dedicating their day to closing its normal clinic and opening a full day of free homeless services every month, with hopes of expanding this service in the future. The initial clinic is in partnership with the City of Refuge, as we serve those that are housed within their shelter. The Good Sam staff is leading the way in this initiative, committing over $11,000 from their personal paychecks to show their belief in providing this much needed service. It takes an army of Good Samaritanâ€™s to bring a program like this to life, and now is your chance to be a part of turning this unattainableÂ luxury back into a life changing necessity for the homeless in Atlanta. Join us in being a light for the City that shines brightly, providing a beacon of hope to those who desperately need a reminder that God loves them.