THE NIGHTWATCH HEALTH CARE INITIATIVE
Serving from 85 to 120 homeless people a night, we at Operation Nightwatch have found it impossible not to be unaware of their health needs. Through our Health Care Initiative, we seek to build a dependable volunteer network of professionals to make our three Hospitality Centers venues for primary health care.
While there are currently fourteen community health clinics in Multnomah County, our experience among those we serve is that there remain unserved and underserved people among the homeless and low-income population. By offering the services of volunteer health professionals, we offer several advantages toward addressing those unmet needs:
- We work in the evening, when other clinics are closed. Some people cannot access health care at any other time.
- Other clinics work on an “appointment only” basis. Many folks on the streets often miss appointments because of inabilities to manage time. They are often very poor at planning beyond the current day. Many do not even possess timepieces. We will be open to any who attend our Hospitality Centers.
- Most importantly, our clinics will work within the context of our Hospitality Centers where our emphasis has been upon building longstanding relationships with our guests. Many of those we serve are distrustful of those in the medical establishment. By making our health care adjunct to our Hospitality Centers themselves, folks who have neglected their health may trust the professionals who work through Nightwatch precisely because they have long known they can trust Nightwatch itself.