AMARILLO, Texas (KFDA) - An up-and-coming program that started as an act of kindness now needs the community’s help to hit the ground running.
In order to start the Amarillo Hopeline Program on time, it’s asking for help with more funding and volunteer nurses.
Amarillo Hopeline is a program of nurses who assess and advocate for people who are homeless and have health issues.
It’s an on-call system where any homeless shelters in Amarillo may contact if someone needs non-emergency medical help.
The Hopeline eliminates unnecessary hospital visits and gives those needing medical attention a more personal and calm experience.
“Regular hospitals are so inundated with people and the ERs are always in such a hurry,” said Amarillo Hopeline Founder Tiffany Pennell. “They’re packed and there’s so much going on that a lot of times they can’t take the time to help. That’s what the advocates do. Sometimes, all you need to do is just sit there and be with them. Just knowing that someone is there with them, they’re a little more receptive.”
The program plans to begin by September 1 in order to be ready for cold weather, which is when the homeless are most vulnerable.
“We have the Code Blue Warming Station but that’s only if it’s freezing,” said Pennell. “There’s a lot of nights where it’s 38 degrees and they’re still sleeping on the street. So, I wanna get it done quickly so we don’t have anyone freeze to death, [get] hypothermia or pneumonia.”
A training session for the nurses is scheduled for August 24.
The program’s goal is to have enough nurses to where they will only be on-call around once a month.
The on-call number will be released when the program begins.
Nurses interested in volunteering can contact Tiffany Pennell through the Amarillo Hopeline Facebook page.
Donations towards the program can be made here.