“Not too many people can say that they adore their job, but I can!” – HealthNet Homeless Initiative Program’s CMA

Staff post: This post was written by Mandy Stivers, CMA

I am a Certified Medical Assistant, and I work for the
Homeless Initiative Program.

I get to travel daily into Marion County’s homeless shelters and streets providing individuals and families with the healthcare that they need. It is such an awesome feeling to help someone get their medicines that they desperately need and don’t have or to give a child their immunizations that may have been behind schedule or to help someone who is sick and has no insurance.

There have been times when mothers have been in domestic violence situations and had to leave in an emergency and had to leave their or their child’s medicine behind, so we were able to help them during situations like that.

I have been a part of patient’s being able to get employment from our services or receive much needed therapy. There are many jobs that require a physical with a Tuberculosis test, and we are also able to also help in that situation.

28% of individuals counted, or 444 people, were members of families, including 248 children under the age of 18. These individuals represented 155 families.
[from the CHIP 2011 Homeless Count]

Something very special to me is that I have seen children grow, not only physically, but also mentally in the time that I have gotten to know them. They have even called me “Aunt Mandy”! That is a great feeling!

We can offer people certain resources that they may have never known before to help them become self-sufficient. I have lived my whole life in Indianapolis, and I never knew about the programs or resources available for those in need. I have learned how to get from place to place and learned the different areas of the city when before I barely left my side of town. My knowledge has grown so much since I have became a part of HIP, and I am proud to tell people that I work for such a great organization.

Today is Wednesday of National Hunger + Homelessness Week!  You can get more information about HIP on our website, chat with others on our Facebook page, and ask questions by tweeting at @GiveACareIndy.

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