Community Aid & Resources
End of Quarter Report
A. Special Thanks to this quarter’s Active Members (>= ~15 hrs)
Winter 2013 was an action packed quarter for Community Aid and Resources Project. CARe Project assembled three clinics: one full scale and two small scales. This is more than we have done in a single quarter since our establishment in Winter 2011. All three clinics were extremely
successful and generated lots of positive feedback and gratitude from the individuals served. In addition, we successfully raised funds and collected clothes/food by going out into the community.
C. Overview of Events
i. February 4, 2013: Small Scale Clinic at the Red Church
The very first clinic of the quarter was a small scale clinic that took place outside the Calvary Episcopal Church on Monday, February 4th 2013. The clinic was about two hours and started at around 5 o’clock, the usual time the church provides dinner to the homeless every Monday. Before the clinic, fliers were distributed around the church to let potential clients know the clinic was taking place. Right after setting up the clinic, CARe volunteers announced the clinic and the services offered in the dining area, which immediately initiated a vast response from the community members as they were interested in the services provided.
CARe went into the clinic with very limited hygiene product supplies that had been left over from Fall 2012, and managed to give most if not all out to those that needed them. CARe provided athlete’s foot crème, razors, soap, tissues, sanitary napkins, wet wipes, lip balms, shampoo and toothbrushes and toothpaste. Only some sanitary napkins were left at the end of the clinic.
Haircuts and foot washing were also offered, two stations set up for each of these popular services. Haircuts and foot washing have been on average the most wanted services in our CARe clinics, and like always were busily occupied. There was a big wait for these two popular services, many people left and came back at a later time, only to find that there was still a line for the service they want to take advantage of. In the future this could be prevented by offering three instead of two stations for each service.
One slight problem arose during the clinic. The lights where the hair cutting station took place failed to work, making it difficult to cut hair as the sun came down. Volunteers thus had to shine cell phone lights in order to keep the service going, until a church faculty was able to find light bulbs to replace. Despite this difficulty, the service kept going and our haircutters were able to assist 3 individuals this way.
After many haircuts and foot washings, the clinic came to a successful end. CARe helped 17+ individuals in a short two-hour period. Many individuals asked if we could facilitate such clinics at the church at a more regular basis, something CARe is considering accomplishing in the near future. The church staff has been extremely helpful and supportive, always making sure what the CARe team needed was provided for them.
7 individuals answered the CARe questionnaire, 5 noting it has been their first time at a CARe clinic, and 2 saying they have taken advantage of our services in the past. All but one reside in Santa Cruz and most have heard of CARe through the church. When asked about their favorite service, all answered haircutting and foot washing. One individual noted that the clinic could improve by providing more focused medical help, such as assistance for chronic disease. All found the clinic useful and one individual gratefully stated, “I wouldn’t miss this for the world”.
ii. February 15, 2013: Small Scale Clinic at the St. Francis Soup Kitchen
The second small scale clinic of Winter quarter was at the St. Francis Soup Kitchen on February 15th. The clinic was held from 11am to 1pm. CARe worked closely with Richard Crowe, the soup kitchen director to make the clinic possible. On the day of the clinic, volunteers arrived at 10am, and set up in the patio area. When the soup kitchen opened at 11 there were many people waiting to receive a meal. They put their belongings down and came over to check out what services were being offered. There were two foot washing and two haircutting stations, as well as a hygiene table run by five volunteers. We offered toothbrushes, toothpaste, neosporin, lotion, wet wipes, sanitary napkins, deodorant, tissues, shampoo, soap, and athlete’s foot cream. We did not have enough hygiene supplies - and they were all taken very quickly. Mainly, we did not have enough deodorant and we did not provide razors (which is a product that many people asked for). Next time, there should be more organization in how we hand out the hygiene products, specifically, monitoring of how much everyone takes, and making sure people don’t come back a second time for popular products. The foot washing station went very well, and people did not have to wait too long before they could be helped. However, it should be noted that the water available at the soup kitchen is ice cold. People were always warned of this - but it was always a shock to them. The haircutting station was also very successful. Many clients asked if CARe would be a regular presence at the soup kitchen, or if they could find us anywhere else on a regular basis. Everyone was very grateful for the services, but one individual said that what he liked best were “all the smiles”. The soup kitchen was very helpful during the clinic. They provided extension cords, and power strips for the hair cutting station, and many of the staff came out to talk with CARe volunteers during the clinic to express their gratitude. A reporter from the Santa Cruz Sentinel also came and wrote an article about this particular CARe clinic.
iii. February 8-14, 2013: CARe On Valentine’s Day Fundraiser at UCSC
iv. February 28, 2013: Canned Food Drive at Westside Safeway
v. Clothes Drive
vi. March 2, 2013: Full Scale Clinic at the Homeless Services Center
CARe’s third and last clinic of Winter 2013 was a full scale clinic that took place at the Homeless Services Center on Saturday, March 2nd 2013.
Outreach at the Homeless Services Center took place the week before the clinic, in order to notify potential clients of the time and place of the clinic. The outreach took place during 4pm-5pm, a time during which free dinner is served. CARe volunteers explained the logistics of the clinic to a myriad of individuals waiting in line to get their dinner and were able to pre-register 45 of them. Pre-registration was an important aspect of the clinic, as clients who were pre-registered received a special star on their tickets that allowed them into each station faster.
This leads into an explanation of CARe’s new ticket system. Every client is required to sign a liability waiver. In order to ensure for this to happen, clients are granted tickets for specific services upon signing the waiver. These tickets are then exchanged for rendered services. This allows clients to pick and choose which services interest them, while allowing CARe to track attendance at each service station by counting tickets after the event.
CARe volunteers showed up at the center an hour before the clinic in order to set up and ensure everything will run smoothly once the clinic started at 11am. The full scale clinic provided the usual three services offered in a small scales such as hygiene supplies, foot washing, and haircuts, and also included donated clothing giveaway, socks giveaway, canned food giveaway, reading glasses giveaway, medical consultations with referrals made to other local resources as necessary, dental hygiene presentation by UCSC’s Pre-Dental Society, as well as distribution of other information regarding different services that could be found locally.
The hygiene products were in much higher supply than at our small scale clinics and included greater variety. At the end of the 3 hour clinic, most of the hygiene supplies were taken.
We offered 5 foot washing stations (rather than the usual 2), a great expansion from the past. This significantly decreased wait time for the popular station. The haircutting station also expanded, from 2 chairs to 3, which was also a great improvement for our second most popular service.
Here is the “attendance” of each station:
One conflict occurred during this clinic, which brought some chaos to the usually very positive CARe clinic environment. An internal miscommunication resulted in false advertisement of HIV/Hep. C testing as one of our clinic’s services. We were in fact going to offer under 5 high-risk clients this test, but this was going to be done only after being seen by our physician and being identified as high-risk. Further, the tests (and qualified administrator of said tests) did not show up the day of the clinic. Someone who was very eager to receive this service became very disappointed and angry when she found out the service was no longer available. He/she felt cheated and held a strong tone of voice. Matthew Musselman, the director of CARe, coordinated to have him/her tested at Planned Parenthood and drove him/her to the Planned Parenthood clinic, but unfortunately they arrived too late to get tested that day. On attempting to get tested at alternative clinics nearby, lack of photo ID prevented any such possibility. We are seeking to offer DMV ID-services at future clinics to remedy some of what went wrong in this regard.
C, What went well
There was good participation from UCSC students. Our Full-Scale clinic featured a diverse breakdown of college demographics.
We were awarded the Community Service Project grant by the Student Volunteer Center, featuring nearly $1000 in funds for next quarter’s off campus endeavours.
We helped 97 clients at our full-scale clinic, and Hygiene Products were the most popular service. We took questionnaires from clients at all of our clinics, but have yet to digest them for interesting trends.
D. What needs improvement?
CARe needs to incentivize more regular participation. This is being done by implementing Active Member Requirements, which is a prerequisite for volunteering at the full-scale clinic beginning Spring 2013.
We also need to better track which kind and how many hygiene products we give out. Regular and thorough pre-/post-clinic inventory checks should facilitate this.
The medical station sets up clients for disappointment, as they expect the doctor to be able to order tests, prescribe medication and get them into specialty care, which is something the doctor cannot do in a non professional clinical setting. In a typical CARe clinic, the doctor is there only for a brief consultation. Thus an improvement that would benefit the clients the most is for our volunteers become experts in how to access local ongoing services.
The blood pressure testing that CARe also administers is helpful, but should be done before the clients intake food, for a more accurate measure.
Privacy issues should be taken into consideration when taking histories in presence of other clients. This should most likely be included in the liability waiver.
The UCSC Pre-Dental Society dental station appears to be overstaffed. Often 5 people are at the station, which can intimidate the clients. The volunteers should instead interact with the clients, coaching them on how to brush and floss correctly. They could also teach them of ways to deal with acute dental pain for clients with cavities, and give out dental wax.
The foot washing and hair cutting stations are the most valuable additions to existing services, so perhaps CARe should focus on these services more, as both lend a good opportunity for listening, which is healing in itself.
E. Where do we go from here?
CARe must continue to evolve its clinical model while continuing to assemble at least 1 full-scale clinic per quarter. We have several dimensions of expansion to consider: service improvement, clinical frequency, and reaching a wider clientele.
Our services are solid, but we must continue to think critically about methods of improvement. We must begin to implement changes reflected in the previous section. We should return to the Watsonville area and work with more agricultural workers and low income families (rather than solely serving the homeless in Santa Cruz). Priorities should reflect the need to foster old and new partnerships with local orgs, including more on-campus orgs with whom we can organize joint fundraisers and community events.
Our organization actively recognizes the humanity of individuals who struggle the most, and seeks to have a positive impact on their lives by addressing basic health needs. We have a genuine motivation to make positive changes in our local community, and we must remain true to this vision as we move forward toward a more compassionate world.
//END OF REPORT