HEALING WORK: Sunny Street founders doctor Nova Evans and nurse Sonia Goodwin with social work student and volunteer Damien Pascoe at Gympie's Salvation Army headquarters in Stumm Road.
HEALING WORK: Sunny Street founders doctor Nova Evans and nurse Sonia Goodwin with social work student and volunteer Damien Pascoe at Gympie's Salvation Army headquarters in Stumm Road. Arthur Gorrie

Bringing health and sunshine to life's darkest moments

WHEN it comes to health care, Dr Nova Evans and registered nurse Sonia Goodwin are taking it to the streets.

The co-founders of the Sunny Street medical outreach service left their jobs in the state health care system to help the homeless, the poor and those at risk in various ways.

People can be vulnerable for all sorts of reasons, Nurse Goodwin said yesterday.

"We started the service to care for people experiencing homelessness or vulnerability, including people fleeing domestic violence.

"We're across a lot of South East Queensland now, in Brisbane, the Sunshine Coast and now Gympie.

"We'll be going national at the end of the year,” she said.

Yesterday they were conducting their regular Friday clinic, from 7.30am to 9.30am at the Salvation Army's Gympie headquarters in Stumm Rd.

"We provide urgent care, especially for people who repeatedly present to Emergency Wards.

"They need help straight away but really are not what Emergency wards are for.

"We help them set up their live so it is not always an emergency.

"We link people to services that support them. And we do a lot of listening.

"We meet them where they are in their health care journey and we help them as individuals from that point,” she said.

"We work with other agencies including the Red Cross, the Salvation Army, Wesley Mission and local neighbourhood centres.”

The two women quit their jobs on the same day to embark on a mission to help improve medical care for homeless and at-risk people.

They opened their first clinic a year ago at Maroochydore.

Both agreed they are always looking for volunteers like social work student Damien Pascoe, who was with them in Gympie yesterday.

Volunteers provide everything from reception services to clinic set-up and take-down as well as sometimes bringing advanced medical skills to the service.