AUSTIN, Texas —
Central Texans have a new resource to help those without insurance be able to afford critical and life-saving medication.
The St. Vincent de Paul Pharmacy of Texas fills prescriptions for free for those in need. The pharmacy is based out of the Dallas area, but St. Vincent de Paul has a Central Texas location in North Austin.
The pharmacy works similarly to Amazon, with the ability to ship to all parts of Texas. That's why it decided to expand and offer its service to Central Texans.
Michael Willard, executive director for the St. Vincent de Paul Central Texas location, said the service was much needed for the Austin area.
"If they can get that medication for free, then they're able to use those dollars for taking care of their kids, paying their rent, paying their utilities. And we know utility bills are going up because it's so darn hot right now. We just need to be able to, you know, give some relief to these families," Willard said.
Since the service is so new, staff recently handed out fliers at the Austin location while people received other services.
To qualify, you must be a Texas resident, not have health insurance, have a valid prescription and have a household income below the federal poverty level.
While the medication comes from St. Vincent de Paul's Dallas location, it's offered through a variety of free clinics in the Austin area that serve those without insurance.
One of those places is the Volunteer Health Clinic.
"We do provide medications, and that's wonderful. We always try to make sure patients have what they need when they leave the clinic," said Marci Roe, executive director of the Volunteer Health Clinic. "But like I said, we're not able to stock absolutely every medication."
Since St. Vincent de Paul got started in this area earlier this year, it has provided more than 500 prescriptions to 34 patients. It's provided over 75,000 prescriptions throughout the state.
"It's so critically important because people want it when they're not feeling well. I mean, you and I are not feeling well, it's hard to go about doing the things that we need to do, right? Hard to go to work. It's hard to take care of your family. It's hard to take care of yourselves," said Luis Gonzales, executive director of the Society of St. Vincent de Paul of North Texas.
Anyone who would like more information about the pharmacy can visit its website.
The Society of St. Vincent de Paul center in Austin also provides free bus passes, a food pantry and rental and utility assistance, among other things. Visit its website for more information about available resources.