At the South Central LA Demo Day, young men of color pitched their tech inventions after having taken part in a coding academy over the summer. Demo Day and the coding academy were offered by TXT: Teens Exploring Technology.
Author: Amy DePaul
Having just bought a dozen or so quart-bottles of sports drinks – a riot of reds, yellows and blues wedged in the front of his shopping cart — Luis Gregorio Ruiz almost made it out of an Anaheim grocery store on a recent morning. But not quite. Maureen Villasenor, a physician in a white coat with a friendly manner, hustled over to Ruiz and introduced herself to him to chat about healthy drink choices.
Five-year-old Katherine Turcios looked skeptical as a hygienist held up a pen-sized dental instrument for the kindergartener to examine. “No pica,” she told Katherine, assuring her it wouldn’t hurt. Then she placed it in the child’s hand so she could see for herself that it wasn’t sharp.
The day begins on Crocker Street in downtown Los Angeles in a shady, fenced-in courtyard behind the Volunteers of America building. A team of health and social service workers gather with cardboard coffee cups in hand, chatting and planning for the work ahead. They form a circle, and a group leader steps forward: What are we offering today? Team members call out the services available: help for mental health problems and substance abuse, and referrals for doctor visits.
Families in which some members lack legal residency have been hesitant to enroll eligible members in the health insurance options available under the Affordable Care Act, according to enrollment specialists and civil rights organizations.
Twenty-one-year-old Albert is a self-described transient who picks up odd jobs whenever possible. On this day in mid-July, he’s waiting to be picked up for day labor in Santa Ana. Albert has a black spot on his foot that he knows could signal diabetes, an illness that runs in his family and forced his uncle to lose a leg.
It’s a brave new world for Ellen Ahn of K.C. Services, which provides addiction treatment in Fullerton. Ahn’s agency is among the first rehab programs in Orange County to begin serving patients who enrolled in California’s low-income health program under the Affordable Care Act.
A guitarist plucked a folksy melody as families strolled around Irvine’s Great Park on a recent Sunday. That’s when Araceli Lopez from Lake Forest spotted the Smile Mobile, a fully equipped RV that brings dental services to locations around Orange County. She quickly volunteered her three daughters for an impromptu checkup.