Founded in 2000, the Mobile Clinic Project at UCLA has evolved into a large, active student-run organization consisting of 65 active undergraduate volunteers and 125 medical and public health graduate students. Through their core values of compassionate care, advocacy, and accessibility, MCP aims to improve the quality of life of folks facing homelessness and other vulnerable populations in the greater Los Angeles area, specifically in West Hollywood and Santa Monica. Based upon the group’s dedication and achievements this year, the UCLA Volunteer Center Fellows awards the Mobile Clinic Project at UCLA the Mongelli Award for Excellence in Civic Engagement for Winter 2018.
For the past 25 years, the Greater West Hollywood Food Coalition (GWHFC) has served free meals from a truck to the homeless every night. In efforts to further serve the community and cater to their clients’ desperate need for healthcare, the GWHFC collaborated with the UCLA School of Public Health, establishing the Mobile Clinic Project. Now operating their 18th year, MCP continues to strive to cultivate a safe, nonjudgmental environment to connect people of all backgrounds to provide direct medical care, legal advocacy, and referrals to health and social services. Through its holistic approach to healthcare, by addressing the clients’ medical, social and emotional needs, MCP serves the needs of members of the LA community in a multi-faceted way.
“What makes MCP such a unique organization is that it focuses on providing compassionate care and building trust with our clients in order to empower them by practicing empathy,” Mobile Clinic Grant Writing Coordinator, Marie Aguinaldo said. “The work that we do is done through a listening ear and patient heart.”
In addition to going to site and providing these services to the homeless population, Mobile Clinic holds trainings and classes for their staff members to learn more about the intersectionalities of homelessness and other social issues. Bringing back their passion to UCLA, MCP organizes on-campus events to inspire their peers to engage in this social justice issue and to educate others in order to fight the stigma associated with homelessness.
“Often times, the homeless are disproportionately marginalized and just vilified,” Aguinaldo, said. “Through empathy, we can foster a space where they feel human and valued, so that they feel empowered to take the next steps to engage in a more active role in their health and to accomplish their overall health goals.”
Again, The UCLA Volunteer Center Fellows are honored to award the Mobile Clinic Project at UCLA the Winter 2018 Mongelli Award for Excellence in Civic Engagement for their demonstrated impact on the homeless population at UCLA. Follow MCP via their website or Facebook page for more information about their amazing programming and upcoming events.