We should be looking at what happened when the publicly funded Health Care for the Homeless Clinic was closed back in 2014. These patients were supposed to be transitioned over to the 'federally qualified health center,' but two years later, some 55-65% of these patients have not been transitioned over. These highly vulnerable members of our community have fallen through the cracks, going without access to the health care they need and deserve. The very same thing is poised to happen here again if we allow the city to 'transition' India Street out of existence. Don't let it happen again, Portland. Please.
St Ansgar Lutheran Church
My faith, as a Christian, teaches that we are meant to take care of each other - every one of us. As a citizen, I believe our city also has a responsibility to take care of us - every one of us. Many human lives depend on the services that would be affected by the India Street Clinic's proposed closure, and we must not let each other down.
For the past 12 years the Positive Health Care Clinic has been my support and lifeline to better health. Where else can I get not only my primary care but access under the same roof to an HIV Specialist in Dr. Lemire. The office staff and nurses have been exemplary in caring service to me and others I know. The thought of taking this lifeline away and throw caution to the wind in selecting strangers in the way of my specialized health care is a frightening one and one that I feel threatens my well being. No where else can these services be accessed under one roof in the state of Maine. I stand with India Street because I am only one of many who depend on this literal lifeline.
India Street meant that as a poor person without health insurance I was still able to receive healthcare in my city. This space provided vital and lifesaving care to young people, colleagues, friends, & sweethearts who I love. This is a site where radical, transformative work happens everyday by providing dignified care to members of marginalized communities. We cannot afford to let our neighbors & loved ones slip through the cracks.
- Co-Founder / Worker-Owner
We need to Save India Street because in 2016 people can live long and healthy lives with HIV/AIDS...IF they have access to quality and consistent healthcare. My mom died of HIV/AIDS in 2004, when I was just a junior in high school. I believe with all of my heart that she would be alive today if we had access to a clinic like India Street. Please, spread the word and save this critical community resource.
Family Crisis Services
- Incarcerated Women's Advocate
Portland needs India Street and so do the people in Cumberland County Jail! Our partnership with Portland Public Health/Lizzy from India Street has allowed women in CCJ free access to HIV/HepC testing that they may not have otherwise asked for. From January 1, 2016 to April 29, 2016 *34* women have been tested and are now connected to the critically specialized services that India Street's AMAZING staff provide! #thisispublichealth #saveindiastreet
Portland Board of Education
I lost health insurance for a time during college while studying at the University of Southern Maine. Classmates recommended the India Street Clinic, and I'm glad that I was able to use the health services there. We need people in City government who understand the necessity of clinics like India Street and other health services in town. Health is elementary.
Budget decisions have moral and ethical implications — especially when they result in threats to the consistency of care for our most vulnerable and marginalized neighbors. In this time when housing insecurity, addiction, and loss of mental health services are on the rise, we need to do all that we can to preserve healthcare options, not eliminate them. We must not balance the city budget on the backs of those who live in poverty.
When I was a freshman in college in Portland, I was in between health insurance. I was sick, and India Street clinic was the only place I could go. It was amazing service from people who cared about me and my well-being.
- Morning Show Co-host
Because this clinic helps so many in our community who rely on it. We keep talking about wanting to help people in our city, and get them wellness and healthcare options, and this is a big one. Healthy people do a city and community good!! PLEASE don't leave Portland without this valuable resource. Thank you. Eva
Portland City Council
- At Large
The India Street Clinic has a well-earned reputation for providing high caliber health care services -- with care and respect--to people in great need. The needle exchange, STD & HIV testing and counseling, a lab to complete confirmatory testing, are all critical parts of public health care in Portland and the rest of Southern Maine. If we contemplate giving up a clinic of this importance there would need to be guarantees of a seamless transition that continues to offer low barrier care, picking up the established relationships without risk of leaving behind patients in need. I do not see that now and therefore cannot support closing India Street.
- Portland Resident
I was diagnosed with HIV in February of 2004 by the doctors at India Street. By April of 2006 I was diagnosed with AIDS. I started medical treatment immediately and by October of 2006 the virus was undetectable and I have remained undetectable and extremely healthy for the past 10 years. My experience with India Street has been nothing but stellar. Not only are the staff knowledgeable and highly educated in HIV care, they are a family to me and my relationship with them has been extraordinary. I owe them my life!
- Munjoy Hill Resident
I was going through a lengthy interview process for a public education position when I contracted a kidney infection. Not only did the pain keep me out of work, it also came with the risk of blood poisoning and permanent kidney damage if left untreated. I knew of nowhere to turn but the India Street clinic. I contacted them, they set me right up with an appointment, saw me for free and prescribed me antibiotics that cost only a few dollars. When I fell through the cracks of this broken health care system, India Street was there to help me. Read More
I'm 48yo, I've been HIV positive for 20 years, I've previously seen HIV specialist and a separate primary care provider. And felt like i was just a numbered file. In 2005, I started going to the India Street positive health center, and have since seen one PCP/HIV specialist. In the past 10 years India Street has been an all encompassing Healthcare provider for me. I'm alive today and in great health because of the personal, compassionate care I've received here. It would be truly devastating to myself and the portland, maine community, if the city council voted to defund the India Street Clinic.
Portland School Board
- At Large
We need to look critically at the process that brought us here. Was it a collective decision? Did anybody meet and discuss the situation with the community members who receive services at the clinic? If not, I urge city leadership to keep the India Street Clinic open, take a step back, regroup all stake holders and have a conversation about what is best for Portland and the residents who receive services at the clinic.
Portland School Board
- At Large
The India Street Clinic is part of the fabric of Portland. I have used the services there several times myself over the years when I was between insurance and doctors. We need to keep it open to serve working people who fall between the cracks from time to time.
Maine State Legislature
- Parkside, Bayside, Oakdale Representative
It is important to make sure that all of the services continue to be available to all of the residents being served at the India Street Clinic. This decision seems rushed. I think we need to take more time to understand all the potential changes and continue services at India Street for fiscal year 2016-2017.
Maine State Legislature
- Munjoy Hill, Downtown Representative
The India Street Clinic is an invaluable resource for Portland's most vulnerable patients. The trust the workers at the clinic have built with their patients is remarkable. And, I remain unconvinced the Federally Qualified Health Clinic will definitively get the Ryan White grant that ensures we are able to provide direct services to HIV and AIDS patients.
- Mayor of Portland
The question before this body is one of timing, due diligence and ensuring we get this right on the first try. What I am concerned about is whether we have built an adequate plan, with adequate time, to guarantee that the transfer will be successful. These questions must be answered adequately for me to vote in the affirmative on the proposal before us. Read More
The Health Care is a Human Right campaign of the SMWC has studied the proposed budget, and we have listened to members who use India Street, providers who care for patients there, and city officials advocating for this change. Our conclusion is clear: this proposal is irresponsible and anti-poor. We urge Portland’s city councilors to vote down this aspect of the proposed city budget.