Story last updated at 9/26/2012 - 2:37 pm
JUNEAU - The SouthEast Alaska Regional Health Consortium Front Street Clinic is accepting donations of warm socks, insulated thick gloves, winter hats, Thermacare heat wraps and other items to help out the homeless patients served by the clinic.
The clinic also will accept gift cards to stores where these winter items can be purchased. Due to limited storage space, Front Street Clinic can not accept winter coats at this time. But donations of clean coats, parkas and sleeping bags can be taken to the Glory Hole homeless shelter.
Janna Brewster, a nurse practitioner who manages the Front Street Clinic, said the change of season and Juneau's colder weather prompted the request.
"As we head toward the fall and winter, I am very concerned about the welfare of those homeless who are sleeping outside and are at a higher risk for death and injury," Brewster said.
She said the Thermacare heat wraps last a long time, and they can be used to keep people warm and prevent hypothermia. She said gift cards to Wal-Mart, Costco or Fred Meyer will help the clinic purchase extra socks, gloves and hats. The clinic also accepts troiletry items (soap, combs, toothbrushes, toothpaste, feminine products, etc.), reading glasses and other small items.
Front Street Clinic was founded in 2003 and is funded by a federal grant with the mission to provide Juneau's homeless population with needed medical, dental and behavioral health care. The clinic treats those who live in the streets, at the Glory Hole, are couch-surfing, living in tents, or living in transitional housing provided by groups such as St. Vincent de Paul, AWARE, Gastineau Human Services, etc.
The highly skilled professional staff at Front Street Clinic provides medical, dental and behavioral health services to about 250 patients a month, and the patients have a wide variety of needs from the most complex chronic disease care or behavioral health issues to simple needs, such as dry socks, a warm cup of tea and a friendly hello. The clinic works with the SEARHC Ethel Lund Medical Center and other service providers in Juneau, around the state and in Seattle when additional services are needed.
Front Street Clinic is located in the Suite 202 of the Miner's Mercantile Building, 225 Front St., in downtown Juneau. The clinic's phone number is 463-4201.