A Priority - Wheeler's Basic Needs Fund
Wheeler's Basic Needs Fund addresses environmental and social factors that interfere with a patient’s health and well-being, but which are not addressed by other means of funding. The fund allows our community health workers to address environmental conditions that might lead to poor health outcomes. Your donation provides for the supports and services that insurance and other funding doesn’t…a new mattress for a child with asthma who sleeps on a filthy bed each night, or a taxi ride for a mom who can’t easily take her children on the bus to an appointment.
The fund provides resources to address basic needs such as: food, transportation, clothing, shelter, medications, or other items or activities that cannot be accessed through a patient's own resources and/or community-based programs. The fund will be used when a patient’s physical and emotional well-being are impacted by lack of the needed resources and, as a consequence, the patient’s health condition may deteriorate and health outcomes may not improve. Any patient at Wheeler's Family Health & Wellness Centers is eligible if they have: an urgent social or physical unmet need that could potentially worsen their health status and delay treatment; the patient is actively engaged with health center staff; and the patient has no other means or has exhausted all other efforts to obtain the needed resources.
The real stories are unrelenting.
- A man was being seen for suboxone treatment, group treatment, and primary care services at our Hartford location. He was facing financial difficulties due to missing work as he focused on his recovery and treatment, and he had some immediate needs that included oil to heat his home. Through your support, we were able to purchase 100 gallons of oil.
- A mom had recently left a family violence situation with her two children, leaving quickly to stay with family and friends. She works part-time, but had a need for clothing, jackets and boots for her children. Thanks to you, we were able to purchase jackets, seasonal clothing, and sneakers for the children.
- A patient who is homeless had their cell phone stolen while staying in a shelter, and they do not qualify for assistance in receiving a phone, which is a lifeline for help, support and daily living. Because of your support, the basic needs fund was used to purchase a low-price phone and some pre-paid minutes.
- A mother of three got a job offer but couldn't pay for transportation to and from work before she received her first pay check. With your generosity, we were able to purchase a bus pass for her.
- A family lost all of their personal items in a fire. Donors like you allowed us to purchase toiletries and personal items for them.
- Throughout the holidays, the basic needs fund was used to supplement food for families, and help people get by this difficult time of the year. YOUR SUPPORT MATTERS.
We hear heartbreaking stories like these every day.
But, there is HOPE because of friends like YOU.
We know how to treat diabetes. We know how to treat addiction. We know how to treat almost all chronic diseases. But the social determinants of health—such as poverty, lack of economic opportunity, racism, and access to affordable prescriptions, healthy food, or housing—keep many of our patients from achieving wellness in the way that many of us may be able to.
This is an everyday reality.
Another everyday reality is that we must rely on the generosity of friends like you to provide for the things that other funding does not.
And that’s where our donors have stepped up. Support for our Basic Needs Fund has led to our staff identifying nearly two-dozen patients who can use specific assistance since we established the fund a year ago.
The needs are endless, and we’ve had to be thoughtful and specific in how the fund has been put to use, but know that YOUR support, YOUR commitment, YOUR vision can change, and literally save, lives.
Friends like you make a difference.