Venice Family Clinic celebrates National Health Center Week

In August, we marked National Health Center Week, as part of an annual celebration of the valuable role that health centers play in providing care to 28 million people across the United States. We proudly joined other community health centers across the country in celebrating our collective dedication to improving our patients’ health, not just through conventional medicine but in a holistic way that addresses all aspects of life that affect health.

For the third year, we hosted two events, both aimed at providing free resources and services to people in our community who struggle with poverty. More than 700 Westside community members participated over the two days.

Friday Fun Day, attended by Los Angeles City Councilmember Mike Bonin, who represents the 11th District encompassing much of the Westside, took place at our Colen Health Centers in Mar Vista. Venice Family Clinic and other community-based organizations provided free food and services, including dental cleanings, immigration and job preparation help, community and childcare resources, exercise classes, and a gardening workshop. The first 200 children also received a free backpack, just in time for the start of the school year.

Homeless Services Day, held at our Rose Avenue clinic in Venice, offered crucial services and resources, including free medical care, dental screenings, vaccinations, HIV and hepatitis C testing, substance use support, linkages to behavioral health services, Medi-Cal and Cal-Fresh enrollment assistance, voter registration and several others.

“This population is very vulnerable because of the disproportionate lack of access to health care for them,” said Dr. Coley King, Venice Family Clinic’s director of homeless health care. “One of our goals for a connect day like this is reaching out to those patients.”

The day started with a free hot breakfast, and offered complimentary mobile showers, hygiene kits, and even pet food and supplies. The first 300 guests also received a CityPak, a rugged and waterproof backpack designed for people experiencing homelessness.David Busch, a Southern California native who became homeless 20 years ago when his temp jobs dried up, attended our Homeless Services Day event. He praised the Clinic’s outreach efforts, noting that many people experiencing homelessness aren’t aware of the resources available to them.

“The biggest help here today is knowing that we have a group, a community, a resource in Venice of people who are dedicated to making human life better,” he said.

Event sponsors included Health Net, L.A. Care Health Plan, Bombas, JW Marriott Santa Monica Le Merigot, ChicoBag, Henry Schein Dental, Nextgen Healthcare and Pair of Thieves.

View photos from the events.

View media coverage:

Venice Family Clinic to Host Homeless Services Days [Yo!Venice | July 31, 2019]

Venice Family Clinic Celebrates National Health Center Week [Santa Monica Daily Press | August 5, 2019]

Nonprofit Offers Free Resources To Help Homeless In Venice [CBS2 News at 5pm | August 7, 2019]

Venice Family Clinic Hosts Services Day for Homeless Individuals [Spectrum News 1 | August 7, 2019]

Grupo De Personas Atienden Gratis A Indigentes En Venice [Estrella TV KRCA 62 – Noticias 62 a las 5pm | August 7, 2019]

Servicios de salud para indigentes [Telemundo | August 7, 2019]

Clinica ofrece feria familiar en Mar Vista [Telemundo | August 9, 2019]