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Arizona college students teaming to give medical care to homeless

(Student Healthcare Outreach for Wellness Photo)

PHOENIX — Homeless people in Arizona struggle to find the medical services that they desperately need, especially on the weekends.

Students at the state’s three major universities are teaming up to change that.

The student-led and volunteer-based Student Healthcare Outreach for Wellness (SHOW) provides free medical care for the homeless each Saturday at the Healthcare for the Homeless Clinic. It’s located at the Human Services Center at 13th and Madison streets in downtown Phoenix.

Pooja Paode, a student at the Barrett, the Honors College at Arizona State University, said students from all three universities take part in the program.

“[Northern Arizona University] has occupational therapy, ASU provides nursing, audiology and speech pathology, and then we we get a lot of medical and pharmacy students from the [University of Arizona],” she said, adding that all of the students come to work at the facility in Phoenix.

Paode said that the clinic serves as many as 15 patients each Saturday and hopes to open on Sundays soon.

“We’ve served almost 1,100 patients in our first year alone,” she said.

Paode said, while the focus is helping the homeless, students also learn while they help those in need.

“A lot of people who work in SHOW don’t really understand what it is like to be homeless,” she said. “They can’t understand it even by being a part of SHOW, but it does bring more light to this population that is often ignored.”

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