In 2017, Waukesha Free Clinic started working with John when he was in Siena House homeless shelter in Waukesha. John is a 54-year old male who has spent 25 years of his life managing book stores in the Milwaukee area. While in his 40s, he developed both cardiac and musculoskeletal problems. He also became diabetic. As a result of evolving health issues, John has had multiple back surgeries. This led to a multi-year unemployment scenario leading to unmanageable medical debt that were compounded by the loss of his job. John experienced severe depression due to the loss of his ability to work. He had been working in book stores since graduating college. Ultimately, John ended up homeless.
The Homeless Outreach program at Waukesha Free Clinic in partnership with Forest County Potawatomi Foundation outreaches and medically triages community members who are homeless or on the edge of homelessness. The program is administered by an experienced Registered Nurse (RN) Case Manager. At the juncture Waukesha Free Clinic intervened with compassionate care and assistance to John, the RN and John developed a plan. Together, they reviewed John’s medications, monitored his blood pressure and diabetes, and managed his multiple medical and mental health appointments.
When John had transferred to The Salvation Army Emergency, Waukesha Free Clinic continued to help John. In spring of 2017, John won his appeal for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI). This has allowed John to afford housing, transportation and food. His medical status is stable. The depression is also under control. While in the shelters, he had volunteered at the Literacy Center. John’s goal is to continue “giving back”.
Waukesha Free Clinic is grateful for the generous support through the Forest County Potawatomi Foundation. Our missions align in helping low-income, vulnerable individuals and families overcome challenges. It is a value to steer patients towards a healthier journey and a better tomorrow.