Home Visit ProgramServing in the desert barrios where the poorest of the poor
struggle to live and die with dignity.
In addition to offering medical services at the COS, the mission staff operates a much-needed Home Visit Program which brings nursing care to the poorest and sickest in Chimbote who are unable to come to the center. The outreach teams provide counseling, medications, first aid supplies, bedding, mattresses, housewares and, on occasion, medical equipment, such as wheelchairs. And, even more importantly, the nurses act as the loving face of Christ as they offer prayers, compassion and encouragement to people who face a daily struggle to survive.
Fr. Joseph Freedy of the Diocese of Pittsburgh describes what it is like to witness a home visit:
“I was so impressed with the nurses. They were completely selfless in their jobs. They had a sincere interest in every person we visited and went over and above what they needed to do to fulfill their duties. They did it with gentleness, patience and, when needed, firmness. The poverty I saw was overwhelming, both in its magnitude – it spanned nearly every part of the city – and in its intensity. We visited people with cancer, tuberculosis, people who have not been out of bed for fifteen years. We visited people in terrible pain, old men who shivered because they had no blankets to keep them warm … . What struck me most about these home visits was the care the nurses took in looking after the people, and the joy and faith of the people despite their condition. It only helped to prove to me that true peace and joy reside in the depths of the heart.”
The Mission Milestone Initiative (MMI) calls for a nearly 60 percent expansion of the Home Visit Program to reach the poorest of the poor who would otherwise not receive help. The goal is to increase service outreach from the current average of 95 families per year to 150 families – from approximately 300 to 450-500 individuals.
The additional financial support from the MMI will allow more frequent visits with more professionals and expand the material necessities and medicine that can be provided during home visits.
The outreach teams provide counseling, medications, first aid supplies, bedding, mattresses, house wares and, on occasion, medical equipment, such as wheelchairs.