We're all still swinging and we're all still doing our part to help make ends meet for friends and neighbors. Sure, it feels like a lot of the pressure is off and that the worst of the last couple of years have passed us, but what we've seen and learned from all of this is that reliance on community is essential and that every effort, large and small, adds to our ability to make sure that those in need here at home are taken care of to the very best of our ability. There are still people and organizations out there who are doing their part to fill a void, and that includes Access Health in Downtown Muskegon.
Sure, it's not on one of the "main drags" as we see them today. Western Avenue has been the focal point for so long that places like Third Street and other "pocket" neighborhoods get some attention, but there is always room for more. On Ransom Street in Muskegon you'll find Access Health mixed in among the historic homes, a couple of beautiful churches within an eye shot, a park or two not far off. Access Health is an organization that from their website describes themselves this way - "Founded in September of 1999, we built a model that provided healthcare coverage to low income, uninsured working individuals. The model balanced partnerships between community members, doctors, businesses, community coalition partners, and social service organizations. We work closely with the community to provide a bottom-up, financially-sound health coverage model." To boil that down a little for you, they can help you find the programs and assistance you need to help you get the kind of health care you should. The Access Health website goes on to say - "In addition, our multi-share financing arrangement combines resources from community stakeholders with a vested interest in community health – including hospitals, businesses, and members – to sustain coverage affordability. We strive to serve as an example for other communities and policy makers seeking sustainable solutions to the health policy problem of affordability." This is an organization run by people who are genuinely looking to get the best care available for any member of our community, but....let's go back to the neighborhood again.
The location of the Access Health office on Ransom Street is what makes this so incredible. Being right there in a fairly residential community, it's easy to see first hand EXACTLY the needs that are being faced day by day in the community they serve and they also have the opportunity with the mini pantry to not only fill a need or two, but to get information to people in need 24/7 with what they have placed inside the pantry to help. Ways to reach out for help with mental health issues are inside. So are ways to connect with people who can help address homelessness, addiction, physical health and more. This is an amazing outreach by an organization that handles problems for people on one level, but sees the deeper issue and goes the extra mile. It's a time too when some have come to a close on what they were able to do during a pandemic, and Access Health and their team members jumped right in and said "Well, maybe not yet".
It happens like most any of our other stories, Becky Burr who's a nurse at Access Health, got a hold of us and said "Hey....guess what we're starting....." and we'll let Becky take it from there.
If you are in need, Access Health is there to help. Not only with being able to help find you the health care coverage but if you run into a tight spot on needing some food or personal care essentials, you'll find them right outside their office on Ransom Street. If you are able to help with non perishable food items, you can drop them off anytime in the bins next to the pantry at Access Health and the pantry will be stocked accordingly. Our many thanks to Becky for the invite and many thanks to Access Health for carrying on the tradition of going above and beyond for our community. Learn more about ACCESS HEALTH by clicking on their logo.