We could all use a bit of good news. Starting this month, we’ll share short stories from our grantees that highlight the good that is still occurring in our community.
The stories that stood out the most were about creative approaches to delivering care during a pandemic, tales of reemerging from rock bottom, and partnering to address emerging needs. Read on.
Truck Bed Pharmacy: A Tale of Creativity from Park Center
Our homeless outreach program continued to operate to ensure basic needs for food and medication were provided to our clients living on the streets or in encampments. They worked in partnership with Vanderbilt Street Psychiatry to do what became affectionately known as “truck bed pharmacy”; literally filling prescriptions for clients from the back of the Nurse Practitioner’s truck. Staff developed sanitization protocols and PPE requirements that enabled them to have properly social distanced face to face contact. Additionally, the SOAR program which helps clients obtain Social Security benefits, was able to continue and since the tornado, 33 people were applied for disability and 18 were approved. Additionally, 810 food boxes and 450 hot meals were delivered to homeless camps and 3 people were housed (an incredible accomplishment considering landlords were not taking new applications).
Tamara’s Turnaround: A Sobriety Story from Renewal House
Tamara had a home, a car and a growing business as a freelance graphic designer. Because of a substance use disorder, she lost all of it. Escaping a violent relationship, Tamara entered the Renewal House family residential program with her young son. She credits Renewal House with saving her life.
Renewal House is unique in Middle Tennessee as the only provider of long-term, comprehensive treatment and recovery support services for women and their children. “I love that it’s a total program,” said Tamara of Renewal House’s family residential services. “Instead of focusing just on sobriety, it is helping me rebuild my life in all areas – parenting, life skills, emotional trauma, spirituality, employment and housing,” she continued.
Tamara has made tremendous progress during her stay at Renewal House. She graduated from the agency’s licensed intensive outpatient treatment program and has started working once again as a self-employed graphic designer. Fortunately, Tamara is able to conduct her business from home.
With daycare services closed due to the pandemic, her greatest challenge has been working full-time while taking care of a one-year-old. She described her son as “a sweet, affectionate little boy who loves to climb, explore and get into things.”
Speaking of her new life in recovery, Tamara said, “I can finally offer my child a stable mom.”
Note: The client’s name has been changed to maintain her anonymity.
Partnering and Expanding: Siloam Increases Its Impact
Siloam is teaming up with Metro Nashville to fight COVID-19 in immigrant communities. Recognized as a leader for our work with both international communities and community health workers (CHWs), Siloam recently partnered with Metro Public Health Department to implement a community health outreach strategy for immigrant communities that have been hit hard by COVID-19. These bilingual CHWs provide vital, culturally-competent health system navigation support and education for these vulnerable populations—many of whom live in Southeast Davidson County.
We recently opened the doors to our first satellite clinic, Siloam Health Antioch, which is also in the southeast part of the county. Located in the heart of a COVID-19 “hot spot,” Siloam Health Antioch will focus on taking community-based acute and primary care into immigrant and refugee neighborhoods where 27% of our patients live—offering easy access walk-in services at an affordable cost. We look forward to serving the growing number of uninsured patients in that community.