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Day of Care offers assistance to those who need some help (video)

By BY SONNY LONG - SLONG@VICAD.COM
Feb. 8, 2013 at 1:04 p.m.
Updated Feb. 7, 2013 at 8:08 p.m.

A volunteer grooms the beard and mustache of 53-year-old Donald Byrd at First United Methodist Church. Byrd was one of many who  received some help Friday by area agencies through the Day of Care.

Mark Perez knew his diabetes wasn't under control.

But it wasn't until he stopped by the Day of Care at the First United Methodist Church on Friday that he found out just how out of control it was.

Perez, 50, had a free diabetes screening, and his blood sugar was 381, a high reading.

Wesley Nurse Kathy Frels instructed Perez to go to the Victoria County Health Clinic immediately.

"He can get a prescription there for the insulin he needs, then come on Monday and see us for free prescription service. We should be able to get him a 90-day supply," Frels said.

"This is overwhelming," said Perez, a Navy veteran who was diagnosed with diabetes in 2001. "I've been so long without medication more than a year. I needed the help."

Perez also indicated he had vision problems, and a representative from the Lions Club at the Day of Care offered to assist him with obtaining eye care.

"This is what the Day of Care is all about," said organizer Lisa Campbell, founder of Population Health Consultants. "We wanted to pull community services together for those who are homeless and connect them with services they might not be connected with.

"You never know how that might help someone out of homelessness."

More than a dozen agencies took part in the event that included breakfast, lunch, haircuts and a hot shower, if needed.

Campbell came up with the idea after discussing the homeless count with a colleague.

"It seemed like we could offer some service following the count to help transition people out of homelessness," said Campbell.

She discussed the idea with members of the Victoria Area Homeless Coalition, who agreed the Day of Care was a good idea.

Perez, who lost his job after a 2009 car crash, agreed.

"It's great something like this is available," Perez said. "There are a lot of people who need help."

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