2017 Hurricane Response - Harvey & Irma






Direct Relief Partners with the National Association of Free & Charitable Clinics to Provide More Than $1.8 Million in Grants for Hurricane Response and Relief Efforts

As part of the ongoing efforts to support communities affected by Hurricanes Harvey and Irma, Direct Relief and the National Association of Free & Charitable Clinics (NAFC) announce over $1.8 million in grants to Free and Charitable Clinics in Texas and Florida.

"Recovery from major disasters continues long after the headlines disappear," said Damon Taugher, Director of U.S. Programs for Direct Relief. "With the start of the 2018 hurricane season just days away, many communities are still healing from 2017's devastating storms. Direct Relief's hope with this latest round of funding is that Free and Charitable Clinics will not only be able to repair and recover from past emergencies but become more resilient to disasters in the future."

These grants are distributed through the Hurricane Community Health Fund, which was set up by Direct Relief in the aftermath of the Hurricanes to be used solely for the benefit of hurricane-affected communities and people – particularly those who have low incomes, lack insurance, and are among the most vulnerable residents.

READ MORE: http://www.nafcclinics.org/content/direct-relief-partners-national-association-free-charitable-clinics-provide-more-18-million











Ubi Caritas

Update: The console of my SUV has become a file cabinet and as I look in the rear view mirror the back, looks like a cargo hauler. It's been another full day of dropping off boxes of food, cases of water, cleaning supplies, and other resources our Ubi patients need since Hurricane Harvey hit the Southeast Texas area. Every patient's home we come to and every patient phone call we receive is another devastating story of how hurricane Harvey has diminished the resources that these people had. And many of these people had few resources to start with.

On the first day we could get back into the office after the storm, we started walking door-to-door checking on patients we could not get a hold of by phone. Workers got boots on the ground in the areas around Ubi Caritas to see what needs our community had. Overwhelming is an understatement! There was an apart-ment complex of over 25 units where some people had not had water or food in 24 hours. We also found a 93-year-old diabetic patient, which had not eaten in 2 days living in an apartment that has water damage because he does not have anywhere else to go. Another woman whose apartment had burned weeks before the storm is now homeless. She had had temporary housing after the fire but the floodwaters flooded that temporary home, and so now, 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.

Most of the patients we serve 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 is dedicated to getting these services and resources to these patients. Our health education room is serving as a distribution center and we are assessing each patient's needs and connecting or providing the services they need. We are also following up and holding their hand as they walk through this crisis.

It is hard to believe it has only been a little over 2 weeks since Harvey hit. Our Southeast Texas community has seen unimaginable devastation. Every person in our area has been impacted by the storm personally or knows a loved one that is affected. This storm did not pick a certain class, ethnicity, or income level of people. It wreaked widespread havoc on everyone in its path.

Today as I pulled up to the home of one of the I Heart Babies! Moms, our last deli-very for the day, little 8 year-old Hannah ran down the sidewalk to meet me. Like so many others, their house had 3 feet of water in it, and they are living in a tent  in their backyard. Her dad is working on the house, but only at nights since he cannot afford to miss any work. As Hannah took one of the boxes she asked, "Did you bring us a box of hope?" Seeing my puzzled look, she explained that she had seen a Christmas show on TV once where an angel disguised as a regular person brought a family a gift of hope and it looked like the box I was carrying. I assured Hannah that this was indeed a box of hope and that these boxes would continue to come until things were better for her family.

In the wake of this storm, our community has come together and every day you can witness selfless acts of true heroic humanity all around. Ubi is blessed to have local churches, national organizations and donors helping us to mobilize resources to bring hope to so many in need. We know our work is just beginning for those we serve, as it will likely take them longer to recover. Ubi Caritas will continue to be Hope on the Move for the community we serve!

September 1st - We spent today loading up water, and our I ❤️ Babies! resources to deliver them to our clients and shelters. Ubi has sustained some roof and water damage to our offices but are grateful for the volunteers that helped us clean up. We will continue to carry out our mission and mobilize resources to help those in need in Southeast Texas.



TOMAGWA HealthCare Ministries

TOMAGWA HealthCare Ministries’ disaster response efforts will include no-cost primary acute care and essential medication refill for all community residents affected by the storm and subsequent flooding. This free clinic will open Friday, September 1, 2017 at 8:30 a.m.. and remain in effect during usual business hours until further notice.

This relief effort will tax TOMAGWA’s already limited resources, making your financial contributions more crucial than ever before. A generous benefactor has issued a matching challenge grant for all donations up to $25,000; therefore, donations received during this time period will be matched, doubling the impact of your gift. Your support will ensure that community residents affected by the storm receive needed healthcare as together we focus on rebuilding homes and lives.

Donations can be made online at www.tomagwa.org


Ibn Sina Foundation

During this Hurricane we have tried our best to provide services to needy community members at their doorsteps. Ibn Sina Foundation medical team under the leadership of Medical Director (Dr. Ranjan Patel) provided the help in the community on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday on site and in the field. We have arranged few medical camps in our facilities to help the flood affected individuals and families for their primary health care needs. We have provided medical services to more than 90 children and adults for their basic needs in the field. We are planning further to go out in the field and provide free consultations, TDAP shots, insulin (for adults), hygiene kits and limited free medicines.



San Jose Clinic

August 30, 2017 - Hurricane Harvey has had a devastating impact on Houston and the surrounding region. According to several news outlets, floods have forced at least 35,000 people out of their homes into shelters, and tens of thousands of homes have been destroyed in Houston alone. While many Houstonians are blessed to have the resources needed to rebuild their homes, many others are in situations that will remain extremely precarious in the coming weeks and months.

Low-income workers are now struggling to avoid economic instability, as so many go unpaid for time spent waiting out or recovering from the storm. As these workers often live and work paycheck-to-paycheck, any time —let alone several weeks— without income places their families in even greater need of economic help. The need in our community for the comprehensive healthcare services of San José Clinic is now greater than ever. 

We have already begun to expand and accelerate our efforts in assisting the local community. As Houston’s original safety-net clinic, we are prepared to help the local underserved, uninsured community in any way we can. In anticipation of the heightened need for our services, we have already collaborated with Americares, Direct Relief, and other corporate partners to provide vital healthcare services in Harvey’s wake. Our partners at Americares will be working on-site at our Clinic to help us to distribute medical supplies to shelters and disaster areas. We expect the first large shipment to arrive this weekend with distribution beginning on Tuesday, September 5. We are also joining forces with other safety-net clinics, Federally Qualified Health Centers (FQHCs), and charity care clinics in the Houston area to ensure our community is adequately served in this time of need. 

We re-opened the Clinic this week to provide pharmacy services, primary medical care, emergency dental services, and mental health counseling, as well as our full range of diagnostic services. We have also resumed our regular operating hours in order to continue providing high-quality healthcare to low-income, uninsured people in the most vulnerable corners of Houston. 

This week, we have waived eligibility requirements in order to accommodate the loss of identification and other important documents due to the storm. We have also waived patient contributions until further notice, as we realize that many of our patients have lost several critical days of income. 

Because of these changes to our procedures in respect of our patients' altered circumstances, we now have an even greater need than usual to fill and will be in need of financial support from the community. Thanks to the support of our community, the Clinic has become a strong organization with the agility to respond to this urgent need. With your support, we will be able to strengthen our community and help Houston’s most vulnerable populations while they rebuild after this natural disaster. Your generosity is most appreciated.



Community HealthWorx

August 31, 2017 - We are located in Alexandria, LA, and the LSU AgCenter mega shelter opened yesterday afternoon late.  Already 600 people are being cared for from this facility.  We have been providing needed medications, such as insulin, inhalers, and other medications that we have in stock.  One of our volunteer doctors is also the Director of the Rapides Parish Health Unit and is deployed to the center.  He along with other health unit workers, doctors, and nurses are assessing the needs of the evacuees and contacting us as the need is determined.  We have hygiene items on hand which we received from Direct Relief that we will use for those in the center also.


A Note from the Texas Association of Charitable Clinics Executive Director

August 28th - I just want to send an enormous amount of appreciation for all of the thoughts, prayers and hopes that people are sending our way here in Texas.  Larry Robins, who in addition to serving as the NAFC chair is on our board, put it best when he said “this is simply horrific”.    Here at TXACC we have tried to reach out to as many of our clinics as we can and have made contact with a lot of them.  The clinics themselves are closed and for some it will be a while before they can assess any damage to their facility.  But, as we all know, those are just structures.  They are all concentrating on keeping themselves and those around them safe.
I also wanted to make sure and let everyone know that our partners – AmeriCares, Direct Relief and Heart to Heart (and perhaps others I don’t even know about) are actively involved and doing anything they can to help – they are wonderful.
I will try and keep you informed as best is as possible and just ask for continued hope that this ends soon.
- Jody Hopkins, TXACC Executive Director