Section Updates

Hepatitis A Outbreak in California

Deadly Hepatitis A outbreaks in homeless populations around California have several sections and community partners working to address vaccination needs in our local community.  Finn from HPS and Joey from NEED have led efforts to secure vaccine supplies from the City of Berkeley and volunteers from HPS and HepTEV have begun flu and hepatitis education and vaccination outreach to homeless encampments and needle exchange sites in Berkeley. GMHC members have been working with the City to get educational material into the bathhouse as men who have sex with men (MSM) are also considered at elevated risk for contact with Hepatitis.  The GMHC will likely be helping with vaccination outreach to MSM as well if the City can provide vaccine.  

Twice Monthly Optical Services Up and Running

The new optical services partnership with Mindful Eyes is getting glasses to clients on the second and fourth Wednesday of every month from 5:30 until 7:30pm.  Each week we have been seeing about 9 clients who need, but can’t afford, new prescription eyeglasses or reading glasses.

Amy Wen, a graduate student in the Optometry program at UC Berkeley has a fellowship to work with our collaboration to help get people into the services.  If you have clients who need new glasses talk to Amy or the IRC to find out how to connect your clients. Thanks to Michael Hahn (BFC Dental Coord Kevin’s brother) for volunteering to help each Wednesday and to IRC for all your work in making things run smoothly for the partnership.  

IRC’s First Saturdays at Berkeley Public Library - Other sections invited to join!

IRC Volunteers have been going to the Berkeley Public Library to do outreach every first Saturday of the month since Summer of 2016. Their clients are primarily the homeless individuals who make use of the library during the day.  Volunteers give out information on a range of issues including: local health programs, housing, health insurance enrollment. And they distribute needed supplies such as free socks, razors, emergency blankets.  They talk to an average of 15 people on each 2 hour shift.  It promotes awareness of our services and is a collaborative effort with the library to make sure their clients have the resources and support they need.  

3 BFC Groups Currently Open to New Volunteers

The Funding Section, the Gay Men’s Health Collective, and the Technology Team may have very disparate roles in the clinic, but they have one thing in common: they accept new volunteers year-round.

The Funding Section organizes events and applies for grants to support the Clinic’s operating budget, and no previous experience is required. To join, please contact: funding@berkeleyfreeclinic.org.

The Gay Men’s Health Collective has been providing men with free sexual healthcare on Sundays since 1976, and volunteers can take on administrative, lab, or medical roles within the collective. Volunteers must be gay, bisexual, queer or trans men. To join, please contact: coords_gmhc@berkeleyfreeclinic.org.

The Tech Team is a new group that aims to support the technology needs of the clinic. Volunteers with any technological background are welcome! To get involved, please contact nedh@berkeleyfreeclinic.org.