SOUTH BEND - Denise Murphy seems nervous, as if she's shivering inside.
And she makes no secret about her mental soup, counting off pills she
takes for migraine headaches, high blood pressure, sleeping trouble
and depression. She says it all circles back to the car accident she
had when she was 16 or 17.
“I believe that’s why I lost my job,” the 38-year-old tells a Tribune
reporter, thinking back on her 13 years as a restaurant server.
She has stepped aside from one of many tables in the Charles Martin
Youth Center where people in poverty are dining with middle-class
“allies,” about 130 people altogether. Here, through the St. Joseph
County Bridges Out of Poverty Initiative, the monthly topic on this
August day is finding medical care.
She says she lost Medicaid two years earlier. Project Homecoming, a
program of the nonprofit Indiana Health Center, supplies the pills she
For her, like others in this room, a single bridge out of poverty isn’t enough.
A survey goes around the room to 64 of the low-income participants
there. About half report that they have high blood pressure. Nearly 40
percent don’t have a primary care doctor, and about the same number go