University of the Incarnate Word students volunteer to help care for the homeless

Bexar Facts-KSAT-Rivard Report poll shows homelessness ranked as top issue for San Antonio residents

SAN ANTONIO – A group of University of the Incarnate Word nursing students and graduate students have been stepping up to help treat the homeless for basic symptoms as first responders are busy dealing with COVID-19 care.

Tarschera Reyna, a UIW graduate student and registered nurse, said it’s a rewarding feeling to help the community during these troubling times.

“The homeless is a person just like you and I,” she said. “I would do the same for this homeless person as I would do for you.”

Students have been treating patients at the Haven For Hope clinic set up in the overflow hotel in downtown San Antonio.

In the most recent Bexar Facts-KSAT-Rivard Report poll, when people were asked an open-ended question about what the most serious issue facing the Greater San Antonio area was that they wanted the local government to do something about, homelessness ranked at the top.

The poll was conducted from April 16-20 by phone and internet. It includes responses from 668 registered Bexar County voters of different income and education levels, race, age, gender and political party affiliation. Four out of five respondents answered in English, while one out of five answered in Spanish. The poll’s margin of error is 4%.

Elected officials fear the homelessness issue will get worse following the pandemic, and they are taking proactive steps to ensure families are staying in their homes.

Reyna said the pandemic is changing the health care system, and those in the industry will need to be ready to adapt, as well.

“Health care has changed as COVID-19 embraced the United States and all over the world. Nursing, health care, psychiatric care, mental health -- everything has changed. And what we are, are innovators,” she said. “And we are -- like I always say -- nurses are like chameleons. We have to change with the times that we're in.”

The clinic is open from every day from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. The nurses encourage others to donate their time to help the most vulnerable population. For more information on how to help, click here.

Didn’t get called for the poll, but still want to have your voice heard? Take the poll, via Bexar Facts, here.

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