An expansion to a traveling healthcare program in northern Illinois served more than 100 homeless people in its first six months of operation.
The Family Health Partnership Clinic in McHenry County started its mobile health program with one nurse and one case manager. They would travel to a homeless shelter in Crystal Lake once per month to care for patients, including taking blood pressure and giving flu shots.
“It became very apparent to us that the need was significantly more than what we could provide with just that type of staffing," said Suzanne Hoban, executive director for the clinic. "We also needed to reach a larger number of the homeless individuals who are out there.”
Hoban says the program recently expanded to help the local homeless population twice per week at two Woodstock-based shelters. She says that was with the help of a three-year grant from the Sage Legacy Fund.
“It is always a humbling experience to really talk to some of these people and realize that sometimes it really is just luck and situation that put you either at the top of the pyramid or in the homeless situation,” Hoban said.
Hoban says the goal is to be able to take care of physical ailments first so homeless people can take advantage of other services that are offered to them.