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Inspired by mission work in Haiti, local nonprofit provides free medical resources

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — Christianity and medicine are two key components of a local nonprofit. Rophe Free Clinic is open every Saturday, providing medical access to families who would generally go with out it.

The free clinic sits in Pike Township. Organization representatives say the area is seeing an increase in its immigrant population as well as working class families who often rank food and housing above medical needs.

Mission work in Haiti helped lay the foundation for the clinic. Organization representatives say founder Curtis McManus took that international medical model and made it local, catering to families who make enough to live but can’t afford health care.

“In Pike Township, we have a lot of patients who are the working class,” Joanne Murphy-Woods with Rophe said. “And they kind of fall between the gaps of health care.”

The services available at the once-a-week clinic are similar to a typical urgent care or specialist office. There’s a focus on physical and mental health, medication and social services.

“The reality that is really before we can even provide health care, the person’s basic needs have to be met first,” Murphy-Woods said.

The clinic is run out of Solid Word Bible Church. Curtis Coston is the pastor of the church and says sharing this space isn’t odd at all.

“Those who have difficulty with access are usually here. And the whole issue is making good health care and where they care about the whole person, making it accessible for the people in our community,” Coston said.

He says the clinic’s founders are members of the congregation. While there’s a given focus on spirituality, they’ve created a focus on one’s whole well-being.

“Empower people that can solve something,” Colson said. “Enable them, empower them. And then get out of the way. And as a church, we are able to partner with them but let them do their thing.”