New RV to remove barriers to care in Kingston, offer mobile medical services

A new mobile space offering health and social service supports for vulnerable individuals was unveiled yesterday at the Street Health Centre in Kingston. 

The Portable Outreach Care Hub, or "PORCH," is a retrofitted mobile vehicle with a counselling room, group space, and clinical care room for those otherwise unable to access medical and clinical support.  

The PORCH RV is funded by the Kingston Community Health Centres through the Ministry of Health, and Reaching Home: Canada’s Homelessness Strategy.

"We know people have barriers in actually getting to our specific program sites, so we needed to think about how we could bring services to people who have barriers to access," Director of Clinical Services with Kingston Community Health Centres Meghan O’Leary says.

PORCH will provide drop-in services from partner organizations at set locations across Kingston.

"The idea is to pick a large handful of locations that are going to be able to reach the population we're trying to serve then multiple partner organizations can be there...we're trying to stay flexible to see what the need and demand is that comes to our door, whether it be mental health supports or clinical care and being able to pull in the right partners to be able to provide services."

Partner Organizations include the Street Health Centre, Family & Children’s Services, Addictions & Mental Health Services, Kingston, Frontenac, Lennox & Addington Public Health, and Youth Diversion. O'Leary says PORCH programming is informed by clients.

"We have worked with clients to ask them what they think they would need and want. We're using the Integrated Care Hub..we're learning some lessons there," says O'Leary.

PORCH services include Hepatitis C testing, sexual health care, addiction treatment, harm reduction and immunization. PORCH services are administered through United Way of Kingston, Frontenac, Lennox and Addington. 

Listen to Karim Mosna's full CFRC interview with Meghan OLeary below: