Vecinos is a 501(c)3 nonprofit health care organization serving and advocating for farmworkers in western North Carolina. We improve the wellness of farmworkers and their families with health care, education, community partnerships, and advocacy. Agricultural work is one of the most dangerous jobs in the country and workers face many barriers when it comes to accessing care. Vecinos aims to break down health care barriers by bringing services directly to the workers.
The mission of Vecinos, Inc. Farmworker Health Program truly began in April of 2001 when our founders, Josie Ellis, RN and Dr. Mark Heffington, began visiting migrant labor camps in Jackson County, NC. Operating with a grant from the North Carolina Farmworker Health Program (NCFHP) and volunteering a lot of their time, Josie and Mark pioneered what is now the Vecinos, Inc. medical outreach model. In February of 2004, we were incorporated as a nonprofit organization and Vecinos, Inc. was born. Since our inception, Vecinos, Inc. has been providing medical outreach and advocating for the social and economic well-being of farmworkers and their families in our communities.
Vecinos provides services to migrant and seasonal agricultural workers and their families in the 8 western-most counties of North Carolina as well as communities in Buncombe County and Rabun County, GA. We cover almost 3,500 square miles! While our mission is to improve the lives of farmworkers, for us it embodies more than just clinical care. Some of our other services include a monthly food bank program, wellness group classes, health education, and case management services, such as appointment scheduling, transportation, and interpretation.
Vecinos means ‘neighbors’ in Spanish, and this is the foundation of the organization’s mission. Vecinos believes in reaching out, with open hands and hearts, and being good neighbors to the people who plant and pick our food. Farmworkers often feel like an invisible population; at Vecinos, we don’t just offer health care, we aim to show appreciation for the important work that farmworkers do, offer them the support and care that all people deserve, and welcome them to our area as valuable members of our community by doing the following.
- Fully functioning mobile health care clinic, May to November
- Weekly traditional-style evening clinics
- Case management services and chronic disease education and management
- Food Pantry
- Health Education, including general, dental, women’s, pregnancy, children’s health; nutrition; diabetes; hypertension; pesticide safety; workers’ rights
At Vecinos, we believe that transparency and community support are important to a trust-worthy organization. For that reason, we provide the latest copy of our Form 990. If you would like to view other financial documents, please email [email protected] with details on which form and the reason for your need.