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Sunday, January 20 , 2019, 3:28 am | Fair 48º


Project Healthy Neighbors Offers Free Medical Services to Homeless

Project Healthy Neighbors, in collaboration with more than 20 local organizations, is holding its fourth annual Homeless Health Fair through Wednesday from 8 a.m. to 11 a.m. at Casa Esperanza Homeless Center, 816 Cacique St., providing free services from flu immunizations to HIV screening to dental hygiene care.

The national nonprofit Soles4Souls has donated 350 pairs of new shoes to be given to the homeless during the event, along with basic survival and personal care kits.

Project Healthy Neighbors is a community collaboration bringing a critical range of medical services for free directly to the homeless, including medical treatment, disease prevention and wellness care, mental health, and substance counseling.

This year, Project Healthy Neighbors is also expanding the range of services offered to the community’s homeless to include dental hygiene care, women’s wellness and housing referrals.

Services will take place throughout four large tents and will include:

» Flu immunizations

» Pneumonia immunizations

» HIV screening

» Tuberculosis screening

» Wound care

» Physician consults on disease concerns

» Drug and alcohol counseling

» Mental health screening

» Rape crisis and domestic violence counseling

» Medi-Cal and veterans resources

» Dental hygiene care

» Women’s wellness

» Housing referrals, Santa Barbara Housing Authority

Project Healthy Neighbors is expecting 400 homeless people and families.Survival backpacks containing ponchos, socks, sweatshirts and personal needs items as well as the Soles4Souls shoe donation will be given to each homeless participant.

“The time, effort and resources contributed to make Project Healthy Neighbors happen, from the most experienced professionals to the young volunteers just starting to seek out ways to make a difference, is awe-inspiring and a spiritual gift to and from the community,“ said Ken Williams, homeless outreach social worker and Coordinator, Project Health Neighbors. “Project Healthy Neighbors has truly become a community-wide effort to improve the health and safety of some of our most vulnerable neighbors, and the health of our entire community.”

Project Healthy Neighbors is a free service to the homeless in Santa Barbara and is the only homeless health event of its kind in Southern California.

Daniella Elghanayan is a publicist.

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