Medical students from the University of Arizona and other universities volunteer to help the homeless population with the growing concerns of COVID-19 outside the Z Mansion, a popular downtown wedding venue that doubles as a soup kitchen for the homeless on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Sundays.
“Medical students feel it is their duty to assist in times like these,” said medical student Christopher Vance, who has volunteered at Z Mansion for the past six years. “We saw an opportunity to put our training to use and help our community.”
Before the students and medical staff begin their shift, they wear protective gear such as masks, gloves, face shields and coats. Students then give out food, drinks with electrolytes and masks to the homeless while screening people for potential symptoms and medical conditions.
“This is a vulnerable population in our community; they can’t defend themselves in a society already running short on supplies and resources,” said Christian Bergman, 4th year University of Arizona medical student.
Those who are sick, medically impaired or have been exposed to those with COVID-19 are isolated outdoors in tents on the property. There are 30 tents available with the potential to to make more, if needed, said Vance.