Students deliver message on asthma
Visitors to residents in housing projects discuss where to get help
About 50 students from Philadelphia gathered Saturday in East Baltimore to canvass public housing projects and spread information about asthma and smoking cessation programs in the city.
The students, members of the national Christian organization Cru, visited residents in Douglas, Perkins and Latrobe homes. They offered pamphlets detailing the Community Asthma Program, a free program of the Baltimore City Health Department, and a Johns Hopkins Hospital smoking cessation pilot program.
The effort is aimed at sharing programs with residents that would improve families’ health by reducing asthma triggers, including smoking.
Escorted by Baltimore City Housing Authority employees, the students peeled off in groups of five or six to knock on doors, looking for families with children.
Korey Perrin, Douglas Homes Tenant Council president, accompanied a small group of students through her court in the Douglas Homes development, where many doors they tried were unanswered. Still, Perrin said she hoped the pamphlets they slipped into mail slots proved to be helpful.
“Some of my tenants do have asthma; some of their kids suffer with asthma and we’re trying our best to get these programs for these people so it can be better for them and so their kids can be healthy,” she said.
Children ages 1 to 18 are eligible for the health department’s asthma program, which provides resources to help families reduce asthma triggers in their homes. Children must have at least four days or one night with asthma symptoms, or a hospitalization due to asthma, to be eligible for the program.
If families qualify, health department employees will inspect their homes for asthma triggers and provide free supplies to help combat asthma symptoms.
Maria Bacoat, a program assistant for the health department’s asthma program, estimated it sees about 300 children a year.
In addition to brochures about the asthma program, the volunteers also handed out fliers asking whether residents wanted to make a New Year’s resolution to quit smoking, with contact information for staff at Johns Hopkins Hospital who could help.
The students canvassing, primarily from Drexel University, the University of Pennsylvania and Temple University, were among more than 1,000 attending the Cru Winter Conference in Baltimore through Tuesday.
Culture Queen sings to the audience Saturday during the Kwanzaa celebration at the Reginald F. Lewis Museum. The event featured dancers, musicians, vendors and a fashion show.