(EMAILWIRE.COM, December 09, 2008 ) Detroit, MI - On Wednesday, December 17 at 3:00pm, S.A.Y. Detroit, the organization formed by Mitch Albom to aid the homeless in Metro Detroit, will open the city's first ever free medical clinic dedicated solely to homeless children and their mothers.
To mark the occasion, free flu shots will be given to all children in need from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. that day, along with diabetes screening and blood pressure testing to their mothers. The media are invited to attend this opening and view the operation and facilities, which have been refurbished, equipped and decorated through the efforts of S.A.Y. Detroit, A Time to Help volunteers, and numerous charitable contributions from local citizens and businesses.
This clinic was created independent of city funding. Its entire existence is thanks to the generosity and hard work of local citizens and businesses. Operated in cooperation with Detroit Rescue Mission Ministries and located at 211 Glendale, Highland Park, the new S.A.Y. Detroit Children's & Women's Clinic will be open 7 days a week, 24 hours a day, as a place where homeless families can seek basic medical attention.
The clinic will operated, in its initial stage, with a staff of nurse practitioners and on-call physicians - including a pediatrics specialist, OB/Gyn specialist, and a nutritionist - to attend to basic medical needs and testing of homeless children and mothers, with a specific eye towards their most common problems.
WHY THE NEED?
In the Detroit area, over 550,000 individuals are without health insurance. Close to 100,000 of these individuals are children ages 10 and under. There is a growing population of children within the city of Detroit going without healthcare coverage. Challenged by transportation issues, poor finances and a lack of information regarding available options, the parents and guardians of these children too often cannot locate - and thus forgo - preventative healthcare for these most vulnerable members of our community. This means that immunizations are not received, minor health issues become exacerbated, and the health needs of these children are too often handled in a crisis situation in a Detroit area emergency rooms.
The Children's & Women's Clinic is designed to provide maintenance and preventative healthcare for children who are underinsured.
As this generally means their parent or guardian is also uninsured, we will also provide maintenance and preventative healthcare for adult women (whether single or part of a family). Open 24/7, 365 days a year, the clinic will accept walk-ins and will also operate a pick-up service at numerous Detroit area shelters. Because homeless children are living in shelters or on the streets, without the most basic things we take for granted, basic check-ups, inoculations, even a doctor's examination, are often out of reach. And parents of homeless children are often reluctant to take their kids to hospitals out of shame or fear that their homelessness will lead to the child being taken away.
At the S.A.Y. Detroit Children's & Women's Clinic, services will be FREE OF CHARGE to all children and adult women who are uninsured or under-insured. The Clinic will provide a wide range of free health services. On-site diagnostic equipment will assist the medical professionals in addressing a variety of health conditions, and health education is will be provided on site for individual clients and small groups.
ABOUT S.A.Y. DETROIT
S.A.Y. Detroit was formed by author and columnist Mitch Albom as a result of a story he read during the Detroit Super Bowl week in February, 2006. The story noted that the homeless in Detroit would be given a special Super Bowl "party" to keep them off the streets for the big weekend, but would be put back on the streets come Monday morning.
Albom was disturbed by this and went public with a plea to do as much for the homeless the rest of the winter as the city was willing to do for a weekend. He spent a night in a shelter to call attention to the issue. The response was overwhelming, and enough money was raised to increase hours of shelter operation, buy a van, hire a medical professional, purchase beds, and much more.
Soon, S.A.Y. Detroit (which stands for Super All Year Detroit) was a fully formed 501C (3) charity. It now distributes money to shelters in Detroit for projects specifically designed to help the plight of those in need. Its projects to date include the building of a state-of-the-art kitchen at the Michigan Veterans Foundation shelter and a day-care center at COTS for children of homeless women. The new Medical Clinic is its latest undertaking, and was made possible largely through the generosity and hard work of Cooper Standard Automotive and its CEO, Jim McElya.
ABOUT DETROIT RESCUE MISSION MINISTRIES
The Detroit Rescue Mission Ministries (DRMM) is a private, non-profit organization serving the residents of the inner city of Detroit: the homeless, hungry, chemically addicted, and mentally ill.
Founded in 1909, the DRMM is the largest rescue mission in the nation. The DRMM provides shelter, supportive services, case management, substance abuse treatment, housing, food and fellowship to thousands of men, women, and children each year. Our mission is to "rebuild the inner city one life at a time".
Detroit Rescue Mission Ministries
Dr. Chad Audi
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