FORT WORTH, Texas - A Fort Worth church is opening its doors offering free COVID services to anyone in need.
The church pastor said they are trying to fill the need for vaccines and therapeutic treatments in low-income communities by bringing services to a convenient location.
In light of rising cases, New Mount Rose Missionary Baptist Church is offering free COVID testing, vaccines, and monoclonal antibody treatments in hopes of helping as many people as possible.
"We’re hopefully helping to save some people’s lives," New Mount Rose Missionary Baptist Church Pastor Kyev Tatum said.
It started out as a mission to educate the Morningside community on the virus and vaccines, but church leaders at New Mount Rose Missionary Baptist Church quickly saw a need for access to COVID-related services.
"They trust us to give them the right stuff, so they’ll come through these doors before they go to JPS or one of those clinics, because they know Pastor Tatum is here 365 days out of the year," Tatum added.
In honor of one of their founding members who died of COVID-19 earlier this month, the church has partnered with USA Mobile Testing to provide free COVID testing, vaccines, and boosters to anyone who shows up, along with a limited supply of monoclonal antibody treatments.
"We’re happy to be able to offer a glimmer of hope for our community," Tatum said. "Many of them don’t know about the treatment. Now they’re hearing New Mount Rose has this monoclonal antibody treatment, and so the question is, ‘What is that?’ So we’re able to tell them and educate them."
But like many other infusion centers, the antibody treatment supplies are extremely limited.
They have fewer than 25 doses left, with more than 100 people on a waiting list trying to get help.
"We know we can’t get more before Tuesday if the shipment comes in. We’re praying. But there should not be a gap in the first place," Tatum said.
Kasandra Ewing is from this community. She said it’s hard to reach some people, especially the elderly, to let them know about available testing sites and services.
"They’re not online, they’re relying on the community for support, so they don’t know where to go unless someone tells them or they see it on the news," she explained.
The services just started this week, but already, the church is seeing increasing numbers of people coming through for testing and treatment. They tested about 50 people on Thursday.
"We need a whole village, we need everyone to do their part to help this, slow the rise of the virus," Ewing said.
The church also hopes to start offering the monoclonal antibody treatments at home as soon as they can get more doses.