When nurse practitioner Daytral Brown received COVID-19 vaccines for her clinic, she said she wanted to make sure residents in need were served.
“We already made plans to come to Newgate Mission and volunteer to serve, and then I received a notification (that I would be getting vaccines),” said Brown, who owns The Beverly Clinic in Longview. “It was always my intention to try to distribute (vaccines) in areas that meet people where they are.”
Brown held a vaccine clinic Thursday at Newgate Mission .
The mission in Longview serves the “spiritual, physical, social, emotional and financial needs of the homeless, low-income, and marginalized population in Longview and the surrounding area,” according to its Facebook page.
“I wanted to make sure that, you know, people are taken care of and that those who are often overlooked have access to the same preventative care that everyone else does,” Brown said.
Several men sat at a table waiting for vaccines at 11 a.m. Thursday, while employees and volunteers prepared lunch at the mission. A main concern voiced by some attendees was finding a place to get vaccinated and finding the time,
Marquis Howard, 47, was the first to walk back to the office where Brown was set up.
“Oh, Lord,” he said, chuckling.
After his vaccination, Howard said getting the first of two shots is a load off his mind.
“It was pretty great,” he said. “I got it over with. I feel 10 times better.”
He said he was looking forward to getting the next dose.
Bradley Martin, 50, said he been waiting for a vaccine more than a month.
“I really didn’t want to get it, but I’m getting it because I have two family members that have really low immune systems, so I am basically getting it for them,” he said.
Protecting his family is his main priority, he said, but finding the time with his work schedule and where the clinics have set up in Longview proved obstacles.
“It was really inconvenient for a little bit but now, this is a good time,” Martin said.
Brown told Martin about the clinic and recommended he stop by.
“I actually went to the doctor this morning, and she said ‘Hey, I’m giving them today,’ ” Martin said. “I wanted to get it out of the way.”
Martin previously tried to get a shot at Gregg County’s COVID-19 vaccine hub at the Longview Fairgrounds, but he said the line of vehicles and the wait were too long with his work schedule.
People who received a vaccine Thursday at Newgate also received information about COVID-19 and a card to contact the clinic if they have questions or concerns.
“They have a resource available to contact us so that they don’t feel like they’ve just been given a vaccine and nothing else, especially for those who don’t have a primary care (doctor),” Brown said.
Newgate employee Billy Jack Williams also received his vaccine Thursday. He has volunteered and worked for nine years at the mission and said having the clinic there was convenient.
“I’ve been wanting to get one, so I decided to do it,” Williams said. “Life is too short.”
Brown said she’ll return to Newgate in 28 days to administer second doses.
Executive Director NaTusha Howard said Newgate Mission is always looking for ways to provide more services to clients.
“I think this is necessary for the time and this age,” Howard said. “The ability to be able to provide this and work with The Beverly Clinic is amazing, and so we’re excited to do that.”
Part of Newgate’s overall goal is to help keep the community members they serve healthy and safe, Howard said.
“We love our patrons so much, and we want them to be wonderful out there in the world,” Howard said. “This is just another way to serve them and to help them — and to show God’s love.”