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Mobile health unit offers medical care to homeless

Mobile health unit offers medical care to homeless
Mobile health unit offers medical care to homeless
Posted at 6:31 PM, Aug 17, 2018
and last updated 2018-08-17 18:31:00-04

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WTXL) - Finding medical care can be challenging, but it's even harder for those without a home. 

On Friday, a local organization did its part to help. 

"I thank God that I'm alive every day and that something hasn't happened," said Elizabeth Merkison, who's experiencing homelessness.  

Merkison has been on the streets for a year. 

"My family ain't had nothing to do with me in 13 years. Yeah, so I'm taking it pretty rough," said Merkison. 

She spends her nights at Lake Ella. Friday morning, she met Patricia Smith. 

Smith started Pat's Pantry eight years ago, helping the homeless. 

"If you don't take time to understand them, you'll just put them in a category, and then, they're just, that's it," said Smith. 

Smith joined the board of Neighborhood Medical Center, which set up a mobile health unit Friday. 

"Faces like Elizabeth are faces that we see every day," said Jeanne Freeman, CEO of Neighborhood Medical Center. 

Organizations like this pull into Lake Ella every so often and each time, there are new faces and new challenges to meet. 

Merkison's been through pregnancy before but this is try number four.

She miscarried three times and she's three months along now. 

"What would have to happen in your life where you would be in the woods tonight? You know, what kind of trauma," said Smith. 

Merkison said she and her baby's father are trying to get a permanent place to stay, but right now, this is her reality. 

"I can't help that this happened. That's not really my fault. You know, I didn't deserve for this to happen," said Merkison. 

Neighborhood Medical Center will be following up on Merkison's health.

She's scheduled for a follow-up appointment Tuesday.