Asma Inge-Hanif, a Chaplain & Nurse Practitioner, Executive Director & Founder, 45 years ago established Inge Benevolent Ministries a nonprofit community health, shelter & social services center and now responding to the COVID-19 Pandemic.
Her Health and Social Services Center was established to care for the underserved and uninsured, noting the disparities and based on the prevailing statistical data, true to her nature, she was compelled to serve those in need as a humanitarian solution for those in communities without viable options.
Recognizing current programs disproportionally distributed services and fail low income, marginalized, uninsured and/or homeless, referencing their circumstances, Hanif implemented a solution. She stated, ” vulnerable populations need to know that they have not been forgotten” including those in the community experiencing financial poverty for any reason – especially our elderly.
Without staff and unsalaried, Hanif lives in the shelter she established as she says doing so increases the numbers she is able to serve She had always care for others using her own resources and donations of a few like-minded individuals. This has now been exhausted and do not have the money or the ability to obtain the all that is necessary to care for these our most vulnerable populations. Her center is in one of the identified ‘hot spot’ zip codes and applied to be a testing site but money and supplies were given to those whom neither service nor are accessible to those in her community. Without phones, computers, television or internet many are also unaware of resources or mandates nor able to travel to where services are.
Hanif distributed masks and gloves to the needy until she had no more. Seeing individuals fearful of being approached, she even drove around and distributed face masks to those homeless and begging on street corners. She made calls to thousands she has helped through the years. She was able to reach Mrs Ramirez’s family (who was home with symptoms but no provider). As a nurse practitioner, Hanif wrote her a referral for the test. She did end up being positive for the virus. Being married with 2 children, through contact tracking Hanif discovered others she had been in contact with. Hanif discovered that her husband was positive as well as an uncle whom based on his symptoms Hanif insisted that he go immediately to the ER. Not only was he positive but was so sick that he was hospitalized and placed in a coma. Hanif’s intervention possibly saving his life. In an effort to flatten the curve, and at critical risk to herself without PPE, she started using her already established health center in the nations response to this Pandemic crisis by serving as a resource site and a care provider for those unable to be and/or not being served by those outside of and distanced from any available services.
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