Homeless Outreach Medical Services

Medical clinic provides quality, compassion

Melanie Goodwin doesn’t take playing with her giggling toddler for granted. Thanks to Parkland’s Homeless Outreach Medical Services (HOMES) mobile clinic, both she and her daughter are healthy and successfully building a new life.

Melanie lived with her daughter at Exodus Ministries following her incarceration in the Texas Department of Criminal Justice system, and took advantage of the HOMES mobile clinic that visited the ministry every two weeks. Parkland partners with organizations such as Exodus Ministries, a non-profit organization that assists female ex-offenders in changing their futures, to bring medical care to the homeless and individuals in transitional housing.

Melanie received a full health work up on the mobile clinic one of her first weeks at Exodus. She was surprised by not only the quality of care she received through the HOMES clinic but also by the compassion of the staff.

“I didn’t expect them to be so thorough and so welcoming,” said Melanie. “Their attitude was ‘hey, come on board, and let us take care of you.’”

Caregivers on the mobile clinic discovered that Melanie had thyroid problems that were causing other health issues.  They prescribed medications, and over the course of a year, they monitored Melanie’s thyroid function and adjusted the medications as needed.

Melanie appreciated the convenience of the mobile clinic.

“It can be very hard to ride the different buses to get to a clinic or to Parkland hospital,” she said. “Plus, because the clinic is small and my medical records were stored electronically, I didn’t have to re-explain myself every time I used the HOMES clinic.”

HOMES uses a combination of two fixed clinics, four mobile medical clinics and one mobile dental clinic to provide medical, dental and behavioral health services to children and adults who are homeless. In 2015, HOMES served almost 9,500 individuals at 30 locations. The staff of 41 employees includes behavioral health staff that provides counseling, outreach and case management in one-on-one and group settings.

Melanie graduated from the Exodus Ministries program and has been working on her education, recently completing medical assistant and phlebotomy degrees. Inspired by her past and the care she received through HOMES, Melanie hopes to work in the medical field.

“I know I have a heart for outreach,” she says. “I would love to be a medical liaison between healthcare providers and families and patients. Once a diagnosis is given, I would love to help them find resources, answers and emotional support.

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