Outreach to Neighbor

SUCCESS STORY

Charles Coleman Health Outreach at St. Matthew’s Episcopal Church, Sacramento

Since its beginning in 1952, St. Matthew’s has always consciously kept abreast of the needs of the families in the parish area. Together with the people of the neighborhood we strive to serve our ethnically diverse, low income community. In the 1970s, our Food Closet was started. In time, a free Clothes Closet was also added. In 1984 St. Matthew’s applied for, and received, Jubilee Center Status, the first in the Episcopal Diocese of Northern California.

Charles Coleman Health Outreach is the most recent program to be added to St Matthew’s outreach efforts and comes as a result of a dream of the late Charles Coleman and his widow CeeCee. Charles and CeeCee saw the growing needs for healthcare among the people of the community, who for a variety of reasons, have difficulty accessing mainstream care. Coleman Health Outreach seeks to address these needs.

We began in 2008 as a free blood pressure check station for our Food Closet clients. The response from the community was enthusiastic and the program has expanded over time to become a nurse run community triage clinic. Now housed in a classroom, between 40-50 people are served each Tuesday and Thursday morning We offer healthy snacks , BP and weight checks, health information in English, Spanish and Russian, referrals to clinics and hygiene and baby supplies. Volunteers from St Matthew’s and our neighborhood make up our staff. University RN students are placed here for their community health rotations. Donations and grants are what allow the Health Outreach to operate. Grants from Episcopal Community Services, Darby Betts and Anita Weaver have been instrumental in helping us to help others.

Interested in learning more about how to develop a health outreach ministry? Please contact the Rev Deacon Cindy Long via e-mail to cindylongrn@surewest.net.

© 2013 The Episcopal Diocese of Northern California.

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