Hygiene Kits, Winter Accessories Delivered to Downtown’s Fourth Street Clinic to Help the Homeless

Dec 24, 2018, 9:45 AM | Updated: 9:46 am
Shawn Park, Code Review Specialist (EMI Health); Tracy Smith, Systems Director (University of Utah ...
Shawn Park, Code Review Specialist (EMI Health); Tracy Smith, Systems Director (University of Utah Health Plans); Melissa Brown, Sr. Director Reference Management (Optum)

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – As the temperatures across the Salt Lake Valley hover at near or below freezing, some help has arrived for people who are experiencing homelessness.

The aid is in the form of 1,000 hygiene kits, 1,200 pairs of gloves and 1,600 hand warmers that were delivered Dec. 20 to the Fourth Street Clinic in downtown Salt Lake City.

The clinic, which has been operating as a community organization for 30 years, primarily serves homeless Utahns by providing high-quality health care and support services. Each year, the clinic serves more than 5,000 homeless men, women and children.

“We appreciate the wonderful donation and time put in by Optum employees and their clients,” said clinic CEO Laura Michalski. “The kits, gloves and warmers make a big difference for the people we serve.”

The hygiene kits include shampoo, body wipes, toothbrush and toothpaste, a hairbrush, sun screen and lip balm. The kits and other items were donated or purchased by Optum, EMI Health and the University of Utah Health Plans.

The items were then assembled, packaged and delivered to the clinic by teams of employees from Optum and the Salt Lake City area clients who served as volunteers.

“Working with the Fourth Street Clinic is an opportunity to help the homeless in Utah with their basic needs,” said Melissa Brown, an Optum senior director, whose team spearheaded the effort to recruit volunteers inside and outside of the company. “We are grateful for the opportunity to partner with our clients on this important project, and we know the supplies will be put to good use by the Fourth Street Clinic.”

Ben Johnson, director of pharmacy of the Union Pacific group, agreed that it’s essential to help people who are homeless in meaningful ways. “We are honored to support the great work that is done by the Fourth Street Clinic,” he said.

With its mission to provide primary care and promote community health, the clinic offers health, mental health and dental care for its visitors, including people seeking to overcome substance abuse. The clinic is a major partner in the regional effort to end homelessness.

After the delivery event, the Fourth Street Clinic conducted its annual Candlelight Vigil, a memorial ceremony held in nearby Pioneer Park for homeless community members who passed away in 2018. Optum and its clients donated snacks and warm beverages, and volunteered their time to support this annual event.

Information and photos in this article came from Maryann Marino.

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Hygiene Kits, Winter Accessories Delivered to Downtown’s Fourth Street Clinic to Help the Homeless