Street Teams To Provide Health Care To Homeless San Diegans



because I was going to die living on the streets has taken a heavy toll on Leo Donuts health he says he recently passed out from anemia and broke his jaw on the concrete in the operation they didn't realize I was homeless so they wired my mouth shot my mouth shot and being homeless what am I gonna eat I don't have a refrigerator I cannot prepare food I cannot leak liquefied anything so I suffer greatly Ramona Garcia has also suffered the mother of three says a lack of bathrooms and showers makes it difficult to keep clean and leads to rashes and infections she also has anxiety yeah I have a mental disability myself personally and it's difficult for me to trust people it's cases like these that led father Joe's villages to start the region's first street medical team medical director dr. Jeffrey Norris says 30 percent of homeless people have complex health needs but don't seek help by providing health care directly to people in the streets we can build rapport and Trust with the goal of increasing patients participation and the care they need to get back on their feet Norris leads the team he says twice a week two to four health workers deploy to the streets to provide primary care to those in need including treatment for high blood pressure diabetes and skin infections a lot of abcess use a lot of other skin conditions like scabies that need treatment I'm so just meeting peoples at least initially basic means and trying to get those Norris hopes to expand the program to offer psychiatric treatment and dental services I have AIDS aids and schizophrenia and anxiety Edith Madrigal has lived on the streets for eight years she hopes she'll get a visit from the new medical team though she knows her conditions are extensive some Susan Murphy KPBS news

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