CBF Field Personnel / Missions

Free Healthcare After COVID Scare

Ruby, a Mission Team volunteer from FBC Wilmington, reading the Bible to a resident at Baptist Housing during a recent mission trip.

By Scarlette Jasper, Cooperative Baptist Fellowship field personnel

The White Flag Winter Relief Ministry is a cold-weather ministry of First Baptist Corbin, in the Tri-County area of Corbin, Kentucky. Corbin is located in the center of a cluster of Together for Hope counties. This ministry provides shelter at a local motel on the coldest nights and hot meals weeknights through the coldest winter months to those experiencing homelessness and food insecurity. 

Scarlette Jasper, CBF field personnel, is an integral part of this ministry through First Baptist Corbin. Jasper’s role has been mainly to assist in the case management aspect of this ministry. She meets with those experiencing homelessness and tries to assist them with overcoming barriers to stability such as applying for jobs, housing, mental health services, recovery programs, healthcare, SNAP and eligible benefits. 

This work evolved in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic. Out of concern for those participating in the Winter Relief program, Jasper partnered with a local health care provider to offer a pop-up health clinic which provided Covid testing and vaccination at the shelter site on nights when shelter was being provided. Transportation to traditional testing and vaccination sites was a challenge for many of the participants. 

In identifying folks who did not have health care benefits, Jasper partnered with a local Medicaid provider to have onsite information about health care benefits and a local nonprofit agency to assist with case management for participants and assist them with applying for benefits at the shelter site. 

After the winter relief program had ended for the season, Jasper was still concerned about the Covid pandemic as well as other health concerns for participants. Several participants had diabetes and other chronic health care issues, and she was concerned about others who might have unidentified chronic illnesses. 

Working with partners, she organized a quarterly health screening clinic for Covid, blood pressure, diabetes and HIV screenings. Participants received a ten-dollar gift card, a blanket and a shelf-stable meal for participating in at least one screening. 

Jasper is now planning a health care event which, in addition to screenings, will include on-site providers who can schedule appointments if a healthcare concern is identified as well as assist with such needs as fitting for and ordering diabetic shoes. Flu shots, Covid vaccinations and boosters will also be available.

Other vendors will be set up to promote local services and resources such as addiction recovery services, mental health programs and services, as well as other needs. Participants will receive a $25 gift card for participating in at least three screenings and visiting vendors. Each participant who visits all vendors will be placed in a drawing for a $50 gift card. Each participant will also receive a meal voucher to use at their convenience.

This event is open to White Flag participants as well as the public. Jasper hopes this can become an annual event to provide services in one location.

Transportation is limited in rural communities and that lack is often one of the barriers to stability that folks struggle with; so having multiple services in one location is helpful to overcoming these barriers. 

Scarlette Jasper is a Cooperative Baptist Fellowship field personnel in Southern Kentucky. To learn more about her ministry, visit cbf.net/Jasper. 

The Offering for Global Missions provides for the long-term presence of field personnel like Brooke and Mike. The theme for this year’s Offering is “A Place at the Table for Everyone.” In Luke 14, Jesus teaches us to invite those least expecting and, in society’s view, perhaps least deserving of invitation. CBF field personnel serving in countries around the world invite and are invited to the table as they cultivate beloved community, bear witness to Jesus Christ, and seek transformational development. 

Learn more about the Offering for Global Missions and access free digital and print resources at www.cbf.net/ogm.

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