Serving about 95 to 205 unsheltered people a night, we at Operation Nightwatch have found it impossible not to be unaware of their health needs. Through a network of volunteer health professionals, we have been able to make each of our Hospitality Centers venues for first-aid care.
While there are currently fourteen community health clinics in Multnomah County, our experience among those we serve is that there remain many unserved and underserved people whose needs our health professionals address. Furthermore, our context provides certain advantages in addressing their needs:
- We work in the evening, when other clinics are closed. Some people cannot access health care at any other time.
- Other places work on an “appointment only” basis. Many folks on the streets often miss appointments because of challenges with managing time. They are often too focused on surviving the current day to recall appointment times. Many do not even possess timepieces. We will be open to any who attend our Hospitality Centers.
- Most importantly, our first-aid stations 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.
We continue to seek nurses, massage therapists, and other health professionals who are interested in volunteering for service at one of our Hospitality Centers. If interested please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.