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Benefit for Doctors Without Walls features Toad the Wet Sprocket in Santa Barbara

SANTA BARBARA, Calif. - Ready for medical check ups for people on the streets, in the homeless camps or living on the edge, Doctors Without Walls - Santa Barbara Street Medicine is seeing an ongoing  increase in needs.       

The work the front line responders are doing will help the most vulnerable from the impacts of the  pandemic, viruses and illnesses that have gone untreated.

"They consider us their doctors.   They consider us the people they come to when they have a question," said Doctors Without Walls - Santa Barbara Street Medicine Co-Founder Maggie Sanchez.

The work started in 2005.

 Sanchez says, "when we started  they were five volunteers and we served 350 people . This year we have 186 volunteers and through October we have already served 5642."
More volunteers, equipment and donations are needed.

"We are starting to find people that  are starting to have the effects of being out in the  cold,  in the dark and especially vulnerable," said Sanchez. "Women  are especially vulnerable."

A benefit show Thursday evening at the Marjorie Luke Theatre in Santa Barbara with Toad the Wet Sprocket will strike the right chord when it comes to a fundraising boost.

The band formed at San Marcos High in the 1980's and has gone on to international fame.

Lead singer/songwriter  Glen Phillips has gone out with the street medicine team personally.
He hopes the community also rallies behind Doctors Without Walls this week

Phillips said, "they essentially are providing a mobile clinic for the unhoused population of Santa Barbara. They do absolutely incredible work in the community.  Really happy to support them they are a  lean mean very direct operation. "

When he is not on tour Phillips has stayed close to the street team.

"He has spent time out  doing outreach with our volunteers and we are  so excited to have Glen  to provide the coats and the sleeping bags and all  of the things people need right now, " said Sanchez.

  With fresh donations Doctors Without Walls says it will add a new case manager and equipment to do electronic checkups in the camps and even have a telemedicine connection directly to a doctor.

For more information go to:  Doctors Without Walls

Article Topic Follows: Lifestyle

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John Palminteri

John Palminteri is senior reporter for KEYT News Channel 3-12. To learn more about John, click here.


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