Community Health Ministry is located on the bottom floor of Fresh Grounds Coffeehouse. The goal and purpose is to encourage people to walk in a healthy life: body, mind, and spirit. Currently CHM offers a diaper bank, cooking classes, and home visits, which extend support and encouragement for healthy living.
The diaper bank and cooking classes provide wonderful one-on-one time with a volunteer. A young mother who took part in cooking classes had been in foster care as a teenager; the cooking class was the first time that she had used a stove and cooked a homemade meal.
CHM has been able to provide parents with information on Early Intervention Services for infants and toddlers with speech delays and motor delays. We have also been able to guide parents to other services that exist within our community, and none of it would have been possible without relational ministry.
An Advocate in Times of Need
Being hospitalized is a stressful time when a person is at his or her weakest and most vulnerable. Everyone needs an advocate during these times; it not only eases stress but allows for better outcomes. Spiritual connections can then be made with church family in a way like no other time allows.
The Community Health Ministry can step in at these times to advocate for patients who have no local family during hospital admissions or when other health needs arise. Advocates have been able to get needed medical equipment ordered and help explain patients' living arrangements so that their needs can be appropriately met after discharge. Volunteers also make hospital visits and meet with physicians for patients who need assistance communicating direct needs or concerns. Being a liaison for these situations allows us to then communicate with churches and pastors on ways the church can reach out and help.
CHM will help guide families through insurance denials and connect those with no insurance or high deductibles to discount prescription plans and programs for free mammogram vouchers. Every situation has been unique; we never know what will arise next.
Helping in Our Community
Unfortunately, homelessness exists in Greenville. Last winter, a young woman in that situation came into Fresh Grounds daily for several weeks. Through conversations, it was discovered that she had been living in an abandoned house, she had no family, and had been raised in foster care. At age eighteen, she was sent out on her own. Finding herself in a dangerous relationship, she had nowhere left to turn.
CHM was able to help her find temporary housing and clothing, and with God's help, doors were opened for this young woman. Through the Health Ministry, she was connected with the different services that she needed.
Moving Forward Together
Future plans include a garden for community members. The hope is to someday have a teaching kitchen for families to take classes and learn how to cook what they grow. Our intent is help families help themselves, for idle hands to be busied, and for a sense of purpose to ensue.
Each aspect of Community Health Ministry depends on building relationships and reaching out to families in our community. In our culture, families in need are all too familiar with services and have little to no familiarity with community. Community Health Ministry is about just that – reaching into the lives of families to build relationships and help meet their needs, allowing for stronger and healthier families. Within the center of community lies the family. Imagine the possibilities!