Non-emergency health care for many indigent persons in San Angelo has been unavailable until now. As we all know, one of the major barriers indigent (homeless and/or poverty-stricken) people experience is denial of services because they lack a picture ID. And, you can’t get a picture ID without a mailing address. The Concho Valley Homeless Planning Coalition is working with several agencies in San Angelo to solve this problem.
At our May 2015 coalition meeting, Rev Tim Davenport from St. Paul Presbyterian Church announced that any homeless person may come to the church office, give their information and be granted authorization to use the church’s address for their personal correspondence. The coalition strongly encourages emergency and transitional shelters in the area to offer this same service if not already doing so. It could literally be a life-saving act.
Nicol Parker, Indigent Case Assistant at Tom Green County Indigent Health says she will interview indigent persons who do not have a picture ID. All that is needed from your agency is a supporting letter that vouches for a homeless person when picture ID cannot be immediately produced. Nicol told me that in most cases, indigent persons can be approved to receive vaccinations, medical examinations, medical treatment, as well as certain prescription medications. Dianna Spieker, Indigent Health Care director, says, “We will work with them to get an ID if they do not have one, they need to be willing to get a photo ID”.
Prevention and early detection of many medical conditions can literally extend and save the lives of homeless persons . It also reduces the some very costly emergency room visits, saving the community thousands of dollars a year.
Note: If you do not authorize the use of your agency’s address, please send them to St Paul Presbyterian Church. Once they have authorization from the church to use their address and phone number, you should include that address and phone number in your supporting letter.
Address of the indigent health care office:
Tom Green County Indigent Health
19 N Irving
San Angelo, TX 76903