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EMS grant helps homeless stay healthy

By Staff | Aug 21, 2009

A $5,000 Florida Emergency Medical Services grant is expected to save hundreds of thousands of taxpayer dollars by giving homeless residents access to preventative medical and dental care.

The grant is being used to purchase all-day bus passes for homeless individuals without transportation to free medical, dental and pharmaceutical locations.

Lee County EMS and Lee County Human Services partnered with Lee Tran by expanding use of an existing grant for bicycle and pedestrian safety to include improved indigent access to pre-hospital care in Lee County.

“The goal of the project is to keep the homeless from becoming EMS patients and probable hospital patients through preventative health care,” said David Kainrad, Administrative and Finance Manager for Lee County Public Safety. “Preventative health care is far less expensive than emergency care.”

So far, about 800 bus passes have been distributed to social service agencies such as the Salvation Army, Family Health Services and Community Cooperative Ministries Soup Kitchen.