HomeFront’s president and CEO Connie Mercer noted, “Since it was launched in 1991, HomeFront has relied on the very generous donations of time, materials and funding from our numerous partners throughout the area. Bristol-Myers Squibb has been with us from the beginning.”
The relationship between the two organizations began more than 25 years ago and now, Bristol-Myers Squibb’s support includes cash donations to essential programs including the creation of a primary health clinic onsite and in-kind donations of office furniture, food, personal hygiene items, bicycles, holiday baskets and back-to-school sponsorships; and organized days of volunteering by individual employees and departmental teams.
Recently, the company approached HomeFront to help make a significant difference in the lives of families living in the Family Campus in Ewing. The result of this outreach is the HomeFront Wellness Center which provides homeless families with holistic health education and interventions as well as establishing an on-site clinic with its own physician who sees patients once a week.
“When families arrive at our campus, they have been focused solely on surviving and all too often view the emergency room as their sole source for medical interventions, without a primary care physician and all of the health benefits that come with an established relationship,” Mercer says. “A major component of our medical education and services in the Wellness Center is making sure families have those connections.”
For Angel Chaparro, Homefront is his safe harbor. After losing everything in Hurricane Irma, he is now living in safe, long-term housing and has health insurance. Homefront has donated school supplies and new clothes for his two youngest children who are starting at school in the fall, and his older son is attending college in Florida on a scholarship.
“I didn’t know a place like this existed,” Angel said. “Without the help of my case workers, I wouldn’t have known what to do. They have helped me every step of the way.”