A year ago, Hurricane Harvey swept through the Houston area and devastated communities. The NAFC and Direct Relief teamed up to provide relief grants to Charitable Clinics that were in affected communities to support continued recovery efforts, to recoup expenses and/or reinforce emergency preparedness efforts related to the hurricanes which allows for the continuity of crucial life-saving care to those most vulnerable in their communities.
One of these grant recipients was Ubi Caritas, located in Beaumont, Texas.
In the days following Hurricane Harvey, the staff of Ubi Caritas went door to door checking on their patients and assessing their individual needs. Every patient’s home they went to and every patient phone call they received was another devastating story of how the hurricane diminished the resources that these people had, many of whom had few to start with.
There was an apartment complex of over 25 units where some people had not had water or food in 24 hours. The clinic staff found a 93-year-old diabetic patient, who had not eaten in 2 days, living in an apartment that had water damage because he did not have anywhere else to go.
Most of the patients Ubi Caritas serves lack transportation, have limited resources, are elderly or have medical conditions that keep them from being able to readily access disaster relief services. Ubi Caritas has been dedicated to getting these services and resources to these patients.
When out in the community following the hurricane, the clinic staff came across a woman whose apartment had burned weeks before the storm and who found herself homeless. She had temporary housing after the fire, but the floodwaters flooded that temporary home and she was out on the streets with her 7-year-old daughter. She had no place to go and no transportation to get to a shelter.
Earlier this year, the NAFC and Direct Relief staff were able to meet this woman and her daughter as they were visiting the clinic to pick up donated bedding, supplies and a new doll. They shared with us their story, including how the clinic staff was there for them in such a time of need and helped them get back on their feet. They were beyond grateful for the support and kindness that they received from the clinic staff. They were settling in to their new home, we received a full report that the 7-year-old girl was doing great in school, and her beaming smile when she received her new doll warmed all of our hearts.
This is just one of many stories of how the selfless staff and volunteers at Ubi Caritas jumped into action and over the past year have been helping their community in any way they could think of. In addition to helping those affected in their community, the clinic also experienced damage itself from the Hurricane. Funding from Direct Relief and the NAFC helps Ubi Caritas recoup lost supplies, medicines and equipment, make necessary repairs to the facility, as well as help cover salaries for employees including Certified Community Health Workers and a Medical Assistant to help with patient care coordination, assess needs, case management and help patients navigate the recovery process. In the aftermath of the Hurricane, they also found the need to hire a Licensed Clinical Social Worker to help patients and the community dealing with added mental and psychosocial issues.
The NAFC and Direct Relief are happy to provide this needed support for the important work that the staff and volunteers of Ubi Caritas have done and continue to do for their community.
To view more photos from our visit to Ubi Caritas, please visit https://www.flickr.com/photos/nafcclinics/albums/72157697296364382.