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HELPING THE HOMELESS: Arvin Navigation Center and Akido Street Medicine Team partner up

The Akido Street Medicine Team is able to provide services to individuals struggling with homelessness every month
Posted at 5:14 PM, Feb 28, 2024
  • Video shows the importance of offering health services to homeless individuals as they reincorporate themselves into society.
  • The Akido Street Medicine Team is usually in the communities of Bakersfield, Arvin, and Lamont helping the homeless community by going to their encampments.
  • Through their partnership with the Arvin Navigation Center, the Akido Street Medicine Team is able to provide services to individuals struggling with homelessness every month.

BROADCAST TRANSCRIPT:

The Akido Street Medicine Team is dedicated to helping the homeless community improve their health by bringing services directly to them. Through their partnership with the Arvin Navigation Center, they're able to provide services to individuals struggling with homelessness every month.

"Being homeless has put a little damper on my self-esteem and my spirits," said Angelina Sevilla. "Coming here I've never once felt pushed away or judged for any of the choices that I've made in my life.

Sevilla has been going to the Arvin Navigation for four months and is now receiving medical services from the Akido Street Medicine Team.

Like Sevilla, other individuals struggling with homelessness can receive services from the team including health screenings, counseling, and behavioral assessments.

Other services offered by Akido Street Medicine Team
Other services offered by Akido Street Medicine Team

According to Behavioral Health Specialist for Akido Care Itzel Veliz, other services provided by the team include medical enrollment assistance, family reunification, and housing assistance. She added that it's important for the team to meet the patient's needs medically and emotionally.

"What I like to do is come out here and not bombard them with technical questions, but more of 'hey how are you,'; 'what do you need from us,'; 'where do you want to start,'; where are you at,' and 'what is your goal,' and we'll work from there," explained Veliz.

Neighborhood News Reporter Priscilla Lara interviewing Naomi Elijah, Arvin Navigation Center's Shelter Coordinator
Neighborhood News Reporter Priscilla Lara interviewing Naomi Elijah, Arvin Navigation Center's Shelter Coordinator

23ABC also spoke with Arvin Navigation Center's Shelter Coordinator, Naomi Elijah who said that through the partnership, they're able to provide critical services that lead to stabilization.

"They've been able to get medications that they weren't able to because there weren't resources here in Arvin or Lamont--it's just very accessible for them," said Elijah.

By making these services available to people struggling with homelessness, Elijah added that it prepares individuals to qualify for housing and increases the likeliness of them retaining a home.

Sevilla said so far, she's had a positive experience with the Street Medicine Team as they've not only provided her with medication, but they've also served as a support system.

"They wanted to help me to acknowledge something so simple as multivitamins so they talked and said, 'Okay, well let's try this,' and they heard me," stated Sevilla. "To be heard is something that I think is special. Not everybody just wants to sit down and genuinely help and they did."

The Akido Street Medicine Team will be offering their services at the Navigation Center every last Tuesday of the month.


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