By KAREN VELIE
While the very poor receive government healthcare benefits, part time or minimum wage workers are often unable to afford health insurance. The Noor Foundation in San Luis Obispo fills the gap providing medical care, medications, dentistry, and eye glasses to the uninsured.
Supported by local doctors who volunteer their time, private donations, and grants from government agencies including San Luis Obispo, the Noor Clinic meets the needs of thousands of these uninsured residents.
As mayor of San Luis Obispo, Heidi Harmon has a voice on which local nonprofits receive public funding. During the past three years, Harmon voted to provide between $7,500 and $10,500 a year to the Noor Foundation.
As a member of the city council, Harmon is eligible for the city’s dental, vision, and medical benefit plan. However, the city’s insurance only provides users one pair of glasses every two years, according to Kevin Christian, deputy city clerk.
During one of Harmon’s frequent out of town junkets, she forgot her “very very very expensive reading glasses,” and needed a new pair, she posted on Facebook.
After voting to award the Noor Foundation public funds, Harmon asked the clinic to replace her glasses, which they did.
“I’m here for you, thank you for being here for me,” Harmon posted on Facebook. “So good to experience this and the struggles we’re all going through and also to experience the generosity of our community.”