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The already abundant challenges with the healthcare sector are only amplified for those who experience homelessness. In Salt Lake City, Fourth Street Clinic exists to be there for this vulnerable population when all else fails.
Since their founding in 1988 as Wasatch Homeless Healthcare, Inc., the organization has served over 5,000 people in the region annually. This care encapsulates everything from providing medications to offering mental health and substance abuse counseling. The heavy weight of this work requires community support, and over the last five years, Miller Insurance Agency has poured its heart into helping support that weight.
Passion to help takes many forms
Members of the Miller Insurance Group staff each contribute in their own ways, whether it’s through launching hygiene kit drives or taking the load off clinicians with snacks and meals.
Alex Meade, the agency’s Principal Broker, serves as the Chairman of the Advancement Committee on Fourth Street Clinic’s board. His fundraising efforts have included out-of-the-box ideas like hosting town halls for the community and starting a film festival focused on the subject of homelessness.
The beautiful moments that arise from struggle
The seemingly basic health services that the clinic provides can mean the world for their patients. “Any one of these visits can bring on the change that allows someone experiencing homelessness to get back on their feet,” said Meade.
Earlier this year, Miller Insurance Group staff stepped into the clinic’s front-line pandemic fight to volunteer. They got a firsthand view of the joy that receiving the vaccine brought many of the patients. “One patient told me the clinic got him connected with resources to address his alcohol addiction,” said Meade. “He was excited to get the vaccine because it meant he could remain healthy and have the energy to focus on his recovery.”
“Any one of these visits can bring on the change that allows someone experiencing homelessness to get back on their feet.”
-Alex Meade, Principal Broker, Miller Insurance Group
An uncertain future requires creative ideas
“In 2020 we saw a 34% increase in expenses directly tied to our COVID-19 response,” said Laurel Ingham, Development Director of the Fourth Street Clinic. “The clinic has worked to be as creative as possible to respond to the list of uncertainties that have continuously cropped up.”
One solution was to hit the road in their medical bus, visiting different resource centers to do COVID-19 testing and ensure individuals in congregant living were safe. To get around ventilation issues, they even improvised by turning their parking lot into a COVID-19 treatment camp, complete with military medical tents.
“From the onset of the pandemic, the clinic has worked to be as creative as possible to respond to the list of uncertainties that have continuously cropped up.”
-Laurel Ingham, Development Director, Fourth Street Clinic