Hope for a shower and shelter connected Kathleen Moore to Jermaine Fubler, but she and her dog Gizmo found so much more.
Moore headed from Missouri to Colorado for a fresh start in early November 2017. She cashed her last paycheck and headed west to a planned interview at a Colorado casino. But the interview fell through, money ran out, and Moore found herself sleeping in her Chevy Equinox in a Grand Junction, Colo. store parking lot.
“I asked where there was a shelter, but they wouldn’t allow me on the property because of my dog,” Moore says. The miniature Doberman-terrier mix has been Moore’s companion for nine years. “There’s no way I would have given him up.”
It was chilly the next morning, and Moore found her way to the Grand Valley Catholic Outreach Day Center in Grand Junction for a cup of coffee and a shower. Fubler, a Medicaid community health outreach coordinator for Rocky Mountain Health Plans (RMHP), is one of the RMPH coordinators who also volunteers at the Day Center on Friday mornings.
“Volunteers have a little spot there to help people who come in to find resources they may need. We can set up an appointment with a primary care provider or a specialist, or help them get an eye exam and glasses, or see a dentist or a therapist,” Fubler says.
Over the next several weeks, Fubler connected Moore to Medicaid coverage and a primary care provider, where she had preventive screenings and established her health home for ongoing care. He worked with Moore to get an eye exam and new glasses so she could use the job center computers and find a new position. He made an appointment for her to see a dentist, too.
He also helped her fill out paper work so Moore and Gizmo could get immediate food and shelter and, eventually, an apartment of their own. When she landed a job as a hotel night clerk, Fubler was there to celebrate, too.
“You know, it’s just all the little things that you would need, and they’re right there at the Day Center to answer your questions.” Moore says that Gizmo is even up to date on his shots now. “If you’re willing to let them help you, then let them help you, because that’s what they’re volunteering to do.”
Fubler concurs. Although his work with Moore began in his capacity as a volunteer, he works with RMHP’s Medicaid members every day to connect them with the help and services they need, too.
“If I can help and make a difference, even a small one, that’s what I want to do. Just to see Kathleen’s progress makes it all worth it—she’s just beaming all the time now.”