Free health care for homeless explained

Tonya Kidd, foreground, and Michelle Sperre, right, explain Coastal Family Health Center's services on Thursday to members of the Open Doors Homeless Coalition's Continuum of Care at their monthly meeting.

Free medical services for people experiencing homelessness are available at Coastal Family Health Center’s locations in Biloxi and Gulfport.

Coastal Family Health Center was the guest presenter Thursday at the Open Doors Homeless Coalition Continuum of Care meeting.

Healthcare for Homeless Outreach Coordinator Tonya Kidd explained Thursday that many people experiencing homelessness are referred to them by other agencies in the Continuum of Care, but they also host “walk-in Tuesdays” at their Biloxi and Gulfport clinics.

Dental and vision care are among the services available to individuals and families experiencing homelessness, Kidd said, something they rarely get access to.

She also emphasized that they focus on treatment for hepatitis-C, HIV, STIs and STDs in the homeless population to limit the spread of those conditions.

Outreach Programs Manager Michelle Sperre described the broad array of programs Coastal Family Health Center offers to the general public on a sliding fee scale, regardless of insurance status.

Coastal Family Health Center is a part of the Continuum of Care, a coalition of more than 50 agencies working to prevent, reduce and eventually eliminate homelessness on the Mississippi Coast.

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