When you’re down and out sometimes you need to be lifted back up. Not having a place to sleep, your health is deteriorating, and you’re living without hope. Having someone or a place to get you back to your normal self is needed sometimes. That’s the role Volunteers in Medicine (VIM) Clinic played in Nathan Mansfield’s life.

Mansfield went to Love and Hope in Action (LAHIA), a non-profit organization that has a soup kitchen. He heard about the VIM Clinic and scheduled an eligibility screening. Once Mansfield was able to get all of his documents, he was able to schedule his first appointment. Once he walked into the clinic, his expectations were exceeded.

His diabetes was out of control and he didn’t have a place to keep insulin. He was homeless and sleeping outside for a few weeks. Depression started to build up because his health was on a downward spiral. After his first appointment, immediately Mansfield’s life made a change.

“Just the amount of time they spent with me, it’s just great. He gets you straighten out little by little. Blood pressure came back and I’m doing well,” said Mansfield.

Now that he’s coming to the VIM Clinic on a consistent basis, his depression has improved. Mansfield doesn’t feel alone anymore and if he has a mental issue, he knows where to come.

“You don’t want to take care of yourself and you treat yourself bad and to have somebody who will support you changes everything. You always need a support system and you may not always need it, but they were there when I did,” said Mansfield.

Mansfield now has a place to live and he currently has a job. Sometimes his job can get a little challenging due to his health, but he feels confident because of us. His health has improved and it’s all because of the VIM Clinic. They provide him with free meters and stripes to test his blood sugar.

“I can tell Alan (Eddison) cares and the women behind the front desk. They’re always smiling, I haven’t found anyone that’s been negative or anything bad to say. Everyone is entitled to have a bad day, but I haven’t seen it here,” said Mansfield.

Mansfield has type two diabetes, but it’s manageable. He uses a bicycle for transportation and that’s his exercise. It’s helped with his anxiety and his diabetes. He takes his diet serious with a few cheat days, but it’s consistent for the most part.

He’s thrilled that the VIM Clinic offers free healthcare for the uninsured in Martin County. Nathan feels everyone needs healthcare and the VIM Clinic gives people a chance who can’t afford it.

“I’m the same as you, but because I don’t have PPO or anything, I’m not entitled to live as long as you. This place makes me feel like I’m everybody else and their here to help you,” said Mansfield. “You’re at a real doctor’s office and it blows me away. I think it’s extremely important and what they do for people is good.”

The VIM Clinic provides health services for uninsured Martin County residents.