Mental Health – 1,345 contacts One of the contributing factors to homelessness is mental illness. Our collaboration with the Homeless Outreach Nursing Center focuses on connecting with and stabilizing the lives of the homeless mentally ill. At our breakfast site mental health staff provided information/referral and general screening services to 981 Gathering breakfast guests, and direct mental health services to 364.
Produce Preservation Project – 3,496 pounds frozen
2011 was the second year of our fresh produce preservation project, designed to preserve excess donated produce received during the growing season. The preserved produce was used in our winter meals, providing additional flavor and nutrition. Fifty-eight (58) volunteers supported by Gathering staff froze 3,496 pounds of basil, bell peppers, cabbage, green beans and zucchini donated from farmers, gardeners and food banks.
Medical Assistance – 11 visits
Staff from St. Ben’s Medical Clinic provided blood pressure checks and medical referrals at our Breakfast site once a month for ten months out of the year and conducted flu shot clinics serving 48 guests. Walgreens also conducted a flu shot clinic at our Breakfast site providing shots to an additional 15 guests.
Legal Assistance – 72 clinics
Attorneys from The Legal Aid Society conducted clinics at both weekday meal sites. At our downtown Breakfast site, 51 clinics were held serving 167 guests. The majority of issues (49%) dealt with municipal citations, warrants and fines. The next highest issue was housing at 7%. The remainder ranged from drivers license recovery to family issues to social security. Twenty two clinics were held at the south side Dinner Program, serving 22 guests. Issues were varied and included tax issues, medical malpractice, insurance, housing and social security. Resolution of legal issues is often a first step towards job and housing stability.
Sundries from the Avenue – 2,064 served
Items such as soap, lotion, shampoo, toothbrushes & toothpaste, laundry soap, combs, and deodorant (23,101 items) were distributed to guests on a monthly basis through Sundries from the Avenue, sponsored by St. James’ Episcopal Church.