• BREAKING NEWS ABC shows live and on-demand -- Download the WATCH ABC app!

Free health care event at Exposition Park

Free health services are being offered for uninsured and underserved people, all thanks to a local non-profit group.
October 31, 2013 12:00:00 AM PDT
Free health services are being offered for uninsured and underserved people - all thanks to a local non-profit group.

Hundreds lined up in front of the Los Angeles Sports Arena in Exposition Park early Thursday morning to take advantage of the free services, which include dental, optometry and general care.

Care Harbor is hosting the free event. To participate, you need to have a special wristband, which were given out on Monday. If you don't have a wristband, you cannot attend the event. Four thousand people are expected to take advantage of the event, which lasts through Nov. 3. It is billed as the largest free clinic in California.

One woman, who received her wristbands for dental and medical on Monday, said she waited in line starting 2 p.m. Wednesday to make sure she was seen by doctors.

"The people here, a lot of us don't have any medical, dental or vision care, so therefore, this event helps us to take advantage of what's given to us that's free," she said.

Rose Johnson Brown was first in line. She slept outside overnight to secure her spot. Charles McDowell woke up extra early and joined the line at 3 a.m. His main goal was to get a teeth cleaning, and that's exactly what he received.

"We see thousands of people who line up for days just to be able to get one procedure done that they can't afford. So, it brings me joy to be able to give back to people," said Devoree Prepshy, a dentist from Woodland Hills.

Harbor Care President Don Manelli said the organization aims to provide consistent care to those in need.

"We're all about sustainable care. It's a temporary clinic, but it's not temporary care," Manelli said.

Such a large-scale event wouldn't be possible without the time and efforts of volunteers.

"I think it's incredible. I think it's absolutely righteous that you people go out of your way to help people that are basically hurting," said one event participant.

All of the participating patients at the event will be enrolled in and educated about the Affordable Care Act.

To get more information about Care Harbor events, visit www.careharbor.org.

Load Comments