February Damien Center Update
February 25, 2022
Damien Cares now offering the Moderna vaccine to clients
We now offer the first, second, and booster doses of the Moderna vaccine! Appointments can be scheduled on Tuesdays only from 1:00 to 6:45pm. To schedule, please use the Healow App or call the Pharmacy at 317 981 1989. We are currently only offering the vaccine to current Damien Center clients.
For any clients that still have questions about the vaccine, they can learn more here.
Clients can watch the short video and answer the short survey to receive a $20 Kroger Gift Card. Please note that clients must leave a physical address on the survey to receive their gift card.
Over the past year, Damien Center has incorporated more spaces for clients to come and share their common celebrations and struggles through support groups. Below are the groups that we currently offer as well as two new groups that we are starting up.
Trans and Non-Binary Support Group
The Trans and Non-Binary Support Group is an open support group for Trans and Non-Binary individuals. The group is led by Erica Cox and creates a safe space for Trans and Non-binary folks to come to receive encouragement and talk about real-life situations to increase resilience and strengths. The group was created to help reduce isolation and create a sense of belonging.
- Every other Thursday
- Runs from 6pm - 7:30pm
- Contact: Erica Cox
Women’s Support Group
The Women’s Support Group is a space where women who engage with the Damien Center can come to talk about everyday struggles and have a safe space to talk through what is happening in their lives. The group is led by Annie Nelson, Kelsey Wolf, and Stephanie Hambrick. The Women’s Support Group meets bi-monthly.
- 1st and 3rd Wednesday of the month
- 11am - 12pm Damien Center Board Room
- Contact: Annie Nelson
The Youth Support Group will be starting up on February 24th. The Youth Support Group will give space for young adults to come and share their experiences with one another. The group will be led by Evren Elliott and will serve anyone between the ages of 16-24 years old.
- 2nd and 4th Thursday of the month
- 6pm – 7pm Damien Center Board Room
- Contact: Evren Elliott
The Damien Center is increasing the access to services for the Latinx population of Central Indiana with the launch of the new HOLA Program. The HOLA team consists of six bilingual (EN/ES) staff who help Latinx community members get connected to testing, PrEP, HIV treatment, and linkage to care services. By increasing the cultural and linguistic competency of Damien’s services, the program hopes to reduce the disproportionate impact of HIV on the Latinx community. If you identify as Latino/a/x and want to provide your thoughts about how the HOLA Program can benefit the Latinx community, please consider participating in our Community Engagement Group. Reach out to Andrea Rivera ([email protected]) if you are interested.
Harm Reduction Team
Over the past year, Damien Center has introduced the Harm Reduction Department into the organization. Read below as Carrie O’Brien, Harm Reduction Program Manager, explains the importance of Harm Reduction and a little bit about the department.
What is harm reduction and why is it important?
According to the National Harm Reduction Coalition, “Harm Reduction is a set of practical strategies and ideas aimed at reducing negative consequences associated with drug use”. Harm Reduction meets people who use drugs “where they’re at” and celebrates any positive change that could include safer use practices, reduced use, or abstinence from substances. Harm Reduction is important because it saves lives through overdose prevention education and naloxone (Narcan) training and distribution.
What does the harm reduction department offer to clients and the community?
Our department offers Hep C Health Navigation, Peer Recovery support and coaching, Naloxone (Narcan) distribution and training, safer substance use education, and safer use kits. We offer safer snorting, injection, and smoking kits. We also supply wound care kits. Damien’s Harm Reduction Specialists are out in the community every week doing outreach and supply distribution.
What are some exciting things coming this year in the harm reduction department/what are some of your regularly offered services?
Starting March 2nd Damien Center will be offering syringe services (needle exchange) in our parking lot on Wednesdays from 2-6pm. We will be expanding distribution sites and hours as the demand for services increases over the next year.
How do people get connected with harm reduction services?
To get connected with Harm Reduction services, all you need to do is show up! The Harm Reduction room is open whenever Damien Center is open. If you are interested in participating in the syringe exchange, just come out to our mobile unit on Wednesday afternoons and we will get you signed up.
What else would you like humans to know?
All our services offered are confidential and open to absolutely anybody in the community. You do not need to provide your name or any other identifying information to access safer use kits, Narcan, or syringes. We are a safe place for drug users to come and get the information and supplies they need to stay safer.
Damien Center is excited to have harm reduction as a part of our services. They continue to work hard to make sure that our clients get the services that they need to use safely and to reduce risks.
Client Advisory Board
The Client Advisory Board will start meeting regularly on the fourth Thursday of every month at 1:15 PM in the Damien Center Board Room. The board meetings are open to clients of The Damien Center (a client is any person who is accessing or has ever accessed a direct service of The Damien Center). The meetings will be a place to discuss current policies and services in place at Damien Center as well as bring up concerns or ideas to help create a safe space for all Damien clients. If you are interested in being a part of the Client Advisory Board, please reach out to Chris Feagans ([email protected]) or your Care Team.
- Starts March 24th, Every fourth Thursday of the Month
- 1:15 –2:15pm
- Contact: Chris Feagans
Previously clients were assigned to two case managers. One was called a Medical Case Manager (MCM) and the other was called a Care Coordinator (CC). Our agency has decided to combine the two roles. We believe this will create stronger relationships between clients and care teams. You will have to contact only one person for any case management needs. This will reduce caseload sizes and help us personalize each client’s care. Your new case manager will be called your Integrative Care Case Manager (ICCM). You will be contacted by your ICCM via phone or email by March 1, 2022.
Another change you may notice is that you will be contacted by our Insurance Enrollment Specialists (IES) for your Ryan White recertifications. They are available to make sure you have insurance coverage, answer questions about Ryan White, and much more. Your ICM is still available to answer questions and connect you with IES as well. To contact IES directly, please email [email protected] or call The Damien Center and ask to speak with the insurance team. We will contact you when you are due for recertification, but we always appreciate it when clients call us to set up appointments ahead of time.
The Client and Family Enrichment Department have programming each month for clients ranging from life skills to employment to family programming. Any events happening can be found on the Damien Center Website under the calendar and events page.
Building A Future
Building a Future is a series of classes that are orchestrated by our Family Support Specialist, Diana Owens, MSW. She creates classes that help clients with developing and sharpening their skills in financial literacy, education, shopping on a budget, employment, amongst other skills. To get more information on Building a Future, please contact Diana Owens ([email protected]).
The Black History event with Freetown Village has been postponed until a later date. Damien Center will communicate with clients once the event happens. Stay tuned!
Job Ready Indy
The Damien Center is a Job Ready Indy Site for our youth clients starting in April. Job Ready Indy was created through collaboration by Indianapolis Mayor Joe Hogsett's Office, EmployIndy, the Indy Chamber, and various employers and community organizations around Marion County. Here is how it works:
- EmployIndy evaluates, trains, and certifies Marion County organizations as Job Ready Indy Providers.
- Job seekers (ages 16-to-24) complete the in-person employability skills curriculum earning badges in six categories.
- Job seekers share their badges digitally with potential employers when applying for jobs through their Project Indy profile and through JRI Job Opportunities.
- Employers can hire with confidence knowing that Job Ready Indy participants have the foundational employability skills needed for today's workplace.
Job Ready will begin in person at Damien Center in March, but there will also be an online portion for those who wish to do it virtually.
For those interested in Job Ready Indy, please contact Kennedy Buyer ([email protected]).