I recently delivered a meal to a less active sister who just had cancer surgery. 

I never do ordinary visits.  I tell them straight out I’m not a social worker but the Relief Society usually asks me to help people find ALL of the resources that might be available to them, and ask if they’d like me to help. 

There were three adults in the household and it was very clear that they were each medically underserved, and also that there’s a lot of trouble.  One housemate is unemployed and her husband was just arrested for a crime for which he could do 35 years in prison.  Another housemate has bad health problems.  Drugs, at least, marijuana, are likely an issue.  The children of the two women are in foster care.

We still serve them and help them to become self-sufficient WITHIN the welfare system, and over time, perhaps we can help them make truly substantial changes in their lives.  If you’re up on the Poverty training on this website, you know that that can only happen if we spend time with them and love them, and “re-parent” in a way that sets boundaries and expectations and consequences without judging or talking down to them.

The Assessment

This woman is on SSI Disability and Medicaid and is about to undergo chemotherapy.  It’s quite difficult to make ends meet, so I am taking her the information called Help in Winter from CaringConnection.org (see the Helps by State – Colorado section).  Perhaps we can help her find utility assistance, other resources for groceries, bus tokens, and even Section 8 housing.

Her male housemate works, has no insurance, and was going without needed meds.  I could see just from looking at him that he was quite unhealthy.  He asked if I could help him find a sleep disorder clinic but I told him let’s start with the very basics and get him some general healthcare.  Then he mentioned he wasn’t on his thyroid meds any more, and others.  Good grief!

Free or low-cost medications for needy people

Folks, there is no reason to go without meds!  There are enough programs, we should never let our brothers and sisters go without meds!  Many of these common blood pressure and thyroid meds cost only $4 but these people don’t know about it!

Target, Walmart, Costco, Sams Club, Walgreens, and many others have common GENERIC medications for as low as $4-12 for a 30-day supply.  Always check there, first.

http://www.walmart.com/catalog/catalog.gsp?cat=546834&fromPageCatId=5431

Then, look on my Prescription resource page.  Places like NeedyMeds.com and pparx.org help you find discounted or completely free resources, often from the pharmaceutical companies.

Help them get the Prescription

Of course, the reason they don’t have their meds is often because they couldn’t afford to see the doctor to refill the prescription.  So for this housemate, I’m hooking him up with either the Metro Community Provider Network (MCPN) just down the street from where they live, or the Caritas Clinic at St. Joseph’s Exempla Hospital.  Either one will help him get a free or low-cost appointment with a medical resident to get a check-up and a prescription.

For information on Caritas or MCPN, see the Help by State – Colorado page.

The point is, if you are reading this article, just know that my goal is to change the way we help the people that we home-teach and visit-teach and serve through the Bishop’s welfare activities.  We are helping them learn how to find their own resources so that they can help themselves throughout the long-term.

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