Santa Barbara- S County

Project Healthy Neighbors: Providing medical care for the homeless

Project Healthy Neighbors

Local organizations are stepping up to carry on the "Project Healthy Neighbors" annual event. It's two days of free medical services for the homeless population that started Monday morning.

Local health and social service agencies and volunteers offered everything from flu shots, Hepatitis C and HIV testing. They even helped people enroll in the Affordable Care Act .

Some basic necessities such as socks, shoes and razors were also handed out.  This year they're expecting to serve under 200 people, a number scaled back from last year.

Casa Esperanza's Chief Operating officer, Imelda Loza, says, "unfortunately because of lack of funding compared to years past, we would have served 600 people. So if we had adequate funding and more financial support from the community, we could do an even more amazing outreach effort for the most needy of our friends on the streets."

Loza adds that 90% of the medical and non-medical services were cut for this event, but through the hard work of Casa Esperanza, Parish Nursing and public health's generosity they were able to provide flu shots and other vital services.

The event takes place again Tuesday morning from 9-11am at Casa Esperanza at 816 Cacique Street. Casa Esperanza is the only homeless shelter that is open 24-hours per day. And for the first time, the organization's requires sobriety for everyone who lives there. To donate:

NewsChannel 3 Anchor Shirin Rajaee reports.

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