For the past 14 years, every week day except Friday, persons who attend the Oasis Clinic at CDU can have a lunch provided free by Black churches. They include Zion Hill, Second Baptist, St. Bridgid’s, First AME Church, Bryant Temple, West Angeles C.O.G.I.C., and Faithful Central.
Each church adopts a day a month. On this day, Sonia Hooper from Unity Fellowship was serving a heart-warming bean and sausage soup with hot corn bread and homemade cookies. It is a way to let HIV patients know that they care. “No one gives them a penny. No grants are given to any of the churches,” said Dr. Wilbert Jordan, director, who founded the clinic which is a collaboration between CDU and Los Angeles County.
He asked the churches for help when he noticed that more than half of his adolescent patients were contracting HIV after their parents kicked them out of the house when they learned they were gay. For some it is the only meal they get daily.
“Every church I have gone to, I never had anyone say no,” he said. “Over half of my patients--64%--have been molested. When it happens to you when you are 12 you are still dealing with it when you are 45,” he continued. Because of this and other social dilemmas, the youth are at the mercy of the cold streets, which force them into relationships with those who may have HIV just to have a warm place to sleep at night.
“Our motto is this is place where first class people are treated first class. We treat our patients just as well as anybody. Our providers are just as knowledgeable as anywhere. We stand head and shoulders with anybody and, yes, we are arrogant about that.”
The inimitable Dr. Jordan has been at CDU over 35 years, and showed his 35 year clock to prove it. He has seen the gamut of health care where the medicines were once worse than the disease but today assures us that there is no reason for anyone to die from AIDS.
There is so much more to the story. Watch the complete video interview with Dr. Jordan.
The Oasis Clinic provides lunches Monday through Thursdays most days. They also schedule patients for treatment and offer medicines and even find housing if needed.
The Oasis Clinic is located at 1807 E 120h Street, LA 90059. Call Monday through Friday (310) 668-4213 for an appointment or walk in, (but be prepared to wait.) Tuesday’s clinic is open til 8 p.m.
More photos: http://www.smugmug.com/gallery/n-BhbtP/i-KN4dVSH