For the last 22 years, Dr. Jim Withers has been dressing like a homeless person in order to convince people on the street to agree to medical treatment.
Dr. Withers began his street practice in 1992 when he and another homeless man, Mike Swallows, would walk the streets of Pittsburgh seeking to provide care for those who couldn’t get treatment by traditional means. They carried bags of medicine and supplies as they walked, offering check-ups and treatments.
As a result of the work of the two men, over 90 countries have adopted similar programs to reach out to the homeless in local communities.
Currently Withers works for a small non-profit called Operation Safety Net.
Filmmaker Julie Sokolow followed Dr. Withers on his nightly medical rounds and made the documentary, “Making House Calls, To People Without Homes”, which aired on NationSwell last week.