The story of the Big Green Bus
Care Beyond the Boulevard, Inc. was conceived by Jaynell (KK) Assmann while volunteering at a food ministry. As a registered nurse working to become a nurse practitioner, she was constantly asked about medical concerns and helping those coming to the ministry for food. Her goal was to open a clinic to provide free, quality medical care to the people coming to the ministry.
Care Beyond the Boulevard (CBB) began as an entirely volunteer-based mobile medical clinic operating from the back of a pickup truck. The goal was simple – deliver high-quality healthcare to the homeless and other patients who lacked access to these services. With our small team of volunteers and a homemade pharmaceutical cabinet, we drove the streets of Kansas City, MO seeking to make an impact.
CBB registered over 900 patient encounters, treating everything from chronic illnesses such as diabetes, COPD, and hypertension to acute conditions such as abscesses, burns, seizures, STDs, and frostbite. CBB received a donated school bus and the funds required for renovating it into a mobile medical clinic.
By spring of 2018, the bus had been converted into a fully functional mobile clinic and was active on the streets! This greatly improved CBB's ability to care for these patients along with our visibility, which has in turn helped us grow to serve even more patients in need. CBB was projected to exceed 1500 patient encounters in 2018.
CBB has continued to grow, adding stationary clinics on Monday and Thursday evenings to the already busy routes served by the Big Green Bus for mobile clinics Tuesday and Wednesday nights. We hired our Street Outreach Coordinator who has helped house many patients, worked to gather different identification records, and provided case management services. By the end of 2020, CBB had seen 1,405 patients and had 4,165 separate encounters.
In 2021, we experienced exponential growth. We expanded our staff to 5 full time employees. By March, we were running four stationary clinics and three mobile clinics each week. We also received our green van which helped us to reach more patients throughout the city. In mid 2021, and in partnership with the Jackson County Health Department and Moffett Drug in Norton, KS, we began vaccinating our patients against COVID-19 as well as continuing to offer other seasonal and recommended vaccinations. Towards the end of the year, we brought on a part-time Medicaid Navigator to help many of our patients who were now eligible for Medicaid in Missouri apply for and begin receiving those benefits. In total we saw 2,686 patients and had 7,259 total patient encounters visits in the calendar year.
2022 has been our biggest year yet. By the end of August, we saw 1971 patients and had 5909 separate encounters, with predictions to surpass our numbers from the previous year. We brought on a vaccine coordinator to help manage the robust vaccine initiative we have been providing. Since April 2021, we have administered over 2,100 Covid vaccines. We also introduced our respite care program, helping transition patients from the hospital for their recovery. In late 2022, our CEO, KK, and one of our volunteers, Jonah, went to the International Street Medicine Symposium to present results from our patient satisfaction survey, hoping to set a standard for other programs to evaluate the care they are providing to their patients.
To provide high-quality medical and mental health care and support to the homeless and under-served populations of Kansas City outside the bounds of traditional health care settings, becoming a force for health care equality and social change.
To assist the homeless, uninsured, or otherwise vulnerable members of society have access to quality medical and mental health care despite adverse financial or social circumstances.
WHAT WE DO
Provide Medical Care
Covid-19, Flu and Tetanus vaccines
Give out hygiene kits, coats, blankets, etc.
Case Management Services
Care Beyond the Boulevard fills a significant gap in access to comprehensive medical care for Kansas City’s homeless residents. Five days a week, CBB delivers high-quality, reliable, evidenced-based care in the areas of primary medical care, wound care, women’s health, mental health, and diagnosis and treatment plans outside the bounds of the traditional health care setting for unsheltered homeless patients by taking the healthcare organization directly to the patient. CBB’s Statement of Solidarity states that the values of inclusivity, solidarity, justice and love guide the medical care delivered. The life-sustaining mental and physical healthcare administered by the providers, staff, and volunteers of CBB are trusted and depended upon by their patients. CBB’s mission is to ensure that homeless, uninsured or otherwise vulnerable members of society retain access to quality medical and mental health care despite adverse financial or social circumstances outside the bounds of traditional healthcare settings, and in doing so become a force for health care equality and social change.