Street Medicine Team Section | "We use the model of mutual aid to provide medical care and support to folks experiencing homelessness."
Currently accepting applications from potential new volunteers! After reading this page, you can fill out the volunteer application.
Who we are:
The Street Medicine Team formed in 2019 from what was originally HIV Prevention Services (HPS). HPS formed in 1989 to offer anonymous HIV testing in response to HIV stigma and criminalization. Our services centered the rights to bodily autonomy and privacy that public health often denies to people living with HIV. Over the years, most anonymous test sites closed due to pressures from public health departments and funding sources, and we are now the only non-student organization in the Bay Area that provides anonymous HIV testing.
Over the years, HPS evolved to meet the needs of marginalized folks in the East Bay and began focusing on outreach, providing hepatitis C testing and routine vaccinations in addition to HIV testing. As we expanded our services, we realized we needed a more descriptive name, and became the Street Medicine Team.
We try to keep our services as accessible as possible. There are no eligibility requirements whatsoever and clients can provide as much or as little information about themselves as comfortable.
We still provide HIV testing! Our HIV and hepatitis C tests that use blood from a finger stick and provide results in 15 minutes. Clients who test positive are provided with as much support as they need to get access to medical care.
Our medical services include care that can be safely provided by lay health workers in outreach settings, STI testing and treatment, vaccinations, foot care, lice and scabies treatment, and basic first-aid, naloxone training, and distribution of health, hygiene, and harm reduction supplies.
Our goal is to provide clients with the information they need to make empowered decisions about their health. As such, we work from a harm-reduction philosophy that supports clients in making their own choices without feeling stigmatized or judged. We provide free services to any client without eligibility screening, no questions asked.
As an anarchist collective rooted in the traditions of radical street medicine, we also provide medical support to protests and direct actions. When we have the capacity to do so, we provide street medic trainings.
Our community partners:
How to get involved:
We are currently accepting applications to join SMT as a volunteer! To apply, fill out the volunteer application and email it back to us by November 17, 2019.
SMT is an all-volunteer collective and always needs more folks to get involved! There are two different ways to get involved with us.
Joining SMT without joining the Berkeley Free Clinic - SMT takes volunteers on a rolling basis and provides on-shift training to provide non-medical services, including driving to outreach sites, distributing supplies, providing haircuts and foot baths, and helping with section logistics. Folks who already have medical training or HIV test counseling experience can get plugged into providing those services as well. Just e-mail us to get involved.
Joining SMT and the Berkeley Free Clinic - Periodically, SMT holds formal training to become BFC members. Training involves about 100 hours of classes held on weekends and covers everything from BFC history and operations to HIV/hepatitis test counseling, vaccination, and first-aid. At the end of training, you’ll be able to provide our full scope of services and be a voting member of the BFC. We try to hold this training around once every 18 months - there will be an application on the website when we’re getting ready to take a cohort. Anyone can apply, whether or not they’ve volunteered with us before.
How to contact us:
If you want us to provide outreach testing in your community or organization, feel free to contact us at email@example.com.
...you could also follow us on Twitter, if that’s your thing: @BFCoutreach
If you are interested in getting more info about volunteering, please attend an All-Clinic Orientation (ACO)! that takes place the third Monday of every month at 7:30PM. We will be there to answer any questions you have about the funding section and talk about your interests. Please note, it is requirement for all prospective volunteers (except GMHC administrative volunteers) to attend an ACO.