Peter has lived on the streets of Manhattan for most of the last 30 years. The stress of his chronic homelessness has taken its toll on his body, causing him to suffer from diabetes, adrenaline tremors, cataracts, glaucoma, and a bone infection in his foot.
As someone who leads a busy and fulfilling life advocating for causes important to people experiencing homelessness, Peter needs his health care to meet him where he is. Thanks to Project Renewal’s mobile medical vans, Peter gets the health care he needs.
Peter first heard about Project Renewal in 2009 when our psychiatric outreach team visited a drop-in shelter where he worked. Two years later, when he lost his job and became homeless again, he began visiting our mobile medical units. Now he visits once a month for check-ups, medication, supplies, and referrals to specialists, like our shelter-based dentist.
“A lot of homeless people don’t trust hospitals,” Peter explains. “Project Renewal is different. They treat you with dignity, like a human being. I recommend it to people all the time.”
Our vans meet patients like Peter in their community where they are and in many cases on the streets. The Project Renewal mobile medical units serve 14 locations across Manhattan, Brooklyn and the Bronx, outside shelters, churches and community centers. Last year 3,547 adults received care on our vans, making Project Renewal the largest provider of mobile medical services to homeless New Yorkers. We provide care irrespective of the patient’s ability to pay, and we offer all of our uninsured patients assistance with the enrollment process.
As a member of our patient advisory board, Peter is also helping to make our mobile medical units better. The board meets with our staff monthly, to give feedback and ensure that we are adapting to our patients’ evolving needs.
While Peter continues helping other homeless New Yorkers access health care and housing, he hopes to move into a permanent home soon too. “I’m grateful to Project Renewal for helping me be in a position with my health where I can think about my future,” he says.