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Moncton health care clinic still looking for a new home

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A clinic that provides primary health care services to Moncton’s vulnerable population is still looking for a permanent home.

The Salvus Clinic was evicted from their long-term space in October and has been operating temporarily out of a downtown church and with their mobile unit ever since.

Executive director Melissa Baxter said they provide any service that someone would receive in a regular physician’s office such as chronic disease management and health assessments.

They also do housing support with individuals that have moved out of homelessness and into housing.

“It’s really hard to imagine that a service such as the Salvus Clinic is unable to find a location to operate its services,” said Baxter. “We serve 4,200 individuals annually. It’s a well established, much needed service. We’re really just shocked that we’re unable to find a location.”

Some staff have been working out of the St. George’s Anglican Church while others have been operating out of the mobile van that sees clients at the city’s shelters.

Ami Ashe is a registered nurse who does outreach services at shelters for the clinic.

“We do a lot of wound care. Primary heath care assessments, blood work, vaccinations, mental health support,” said Ashe.

Ashe said it’s very difficult to do her job without a permanent structure.

“We have the mobile van, but we have a large staff and the mobile van can really fit maximum two staff at once. It’s hard because there’s nowhere to see clients to ask them where to come to. Sometimes I meet clients and normally I would say, ‘Oh, come to the clinic tomorrow or come this afternoon,’ and there’s nowhere to tell them to come to,” said Ashe.

The Salvus Clinic’s role is not just outreach services at shelters, they also serve a lot of clients that are sleeping rough.

“If they’re not staying in the shelter and I’m always at the shelter people are falling through the cracks,” said Ashe.

Baxter said it’s challenging for Ashe and the staff to not have a permanent home.

“We provide in-person service so it’s a little difficult to try and make arrangements to do that without a physical location,” said Baxter. “We’re very upset that we are not able to provide the level of service that we are accustomed to providing. We hear from our clients often. They’re often asking us when are we going to find a location because they would like to receive the services that they’re accustomed to.”

Baxter said despite the transitional time for the Salvus Clinic, they remain committed to helping the population they serve.

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