A look inside the Occupy Medical clinic, which provides free healthcare services to the homeless and uninsured in Eugene, Oregon. Published in Flux Magazine (read the full story here).
Monica Dostal, a volunteer nurse practitioner with the Occupy Medical clinic, checks James Everett for signs of an infection. "This place is extremely helpful," says Everett, "It's the closest thing to an old country doctor I know."
Wesley Force treats Neil Everett for a human bite on his hand. The dangers of being homeless are reflected in the wide range of injuries the volunteers see every Sunday.
The patient check in list at the end of the day. On a typical Sunday the clinic helps 30 to 60 patients.
A homeless patient sits in the Occupy Medical waiting room. The volunteer-run organization provides free medical services to the homleess and uninsured in Eugeen, Oregon.
The waiting room inside the clinic building, which Occupy Medical is currently renting on a temporary basis.
The intersection of 13th and Ferry streets, where the clinic sets up every Sunday from twelve to four.
Sue Sierralupe, manager of the clinic, pauses to pet a patient's dog. The clinic provides a variety of services, including veterinary care for pets.
Howard Rexroad arrives at the clinic with his cat Sadie. Many homeless people keep pets for companionship and protection, and volunteer veterinarians work with Occupy Medical to provide free checkups.
"I do take time off, I take two Sundays off every single year." As the clinic manager Sue Sierralupe is constantly busy, and like the rest of the volunteers receives no compensation for her work.
Kerri Corso is a regular volunteer and provides one of the clinic's most popular services, haircuts. "It can help people feel normal when they don't have anything else" says Corso.
Sue Sierralupe delivers vitamins and medicine to Virginia Collins during a haircut. Medical treatment is just one aspect of Occupy Medical's holistic approach to healthcare.
Allen Townsend receives a foot soak in the back of the clinic. Homelessness is hard on the body, and the combination of life on the streets with inadequate access to medical services can lead to severe medical problems. Clinics like Occupy Medical serve as a safety net for those who slip through the cracks of America's healthcare system.