Privacy screens went up in the chapel. Staff from Augusta Health prepared first-aid and screening stations. MBU social work majors got ready to help connect people to community resources. This was the scene at Staunton’s Valley Mission last Wednesday as staff, volunteers, and healthcare professionals worked to bring medical care and education directly to the homeless.
Augusta Health’s Healthcare for the Homeless initiative provides free medical services weekly at local shelters in Staunton and Waynesboro, including screenings and education for diabetes, hypertension, and mental health, as well as administering flu vaccines and basic first aid.
Social work majors Rachel Boone, Nesi Ikote, Jadayia Jordan, and Claudine Katete, all juniors, were on hand to help people sign up for these on-site services and arrange additional medical care if needed. They studied maps of local bus routes, so they could give clients the correct amount of tokens and show them how to get to the free clinic in Fishersville for follow-up appointments.
“The people that are here are some of the kindest people I’ve met,” said Boone, about her introduction to the Valley Mission’s work. “I’m looking forward to continuing to volunteer here.”