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Local doctor gives free services to the homeless

Dr. Wilbur Cleaves is retired but still volunteers his services
Doctor shortage 110819
Posted at 5:31 PM, Jan 15, 2021
and last updated 2021-01-16 16:44:10-05

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — A breezeway that’s been turned into a medical clinic - that's where Dr. Wilbur Cleaves works to help the needy for free. Cleaves attends to patients and does things like take your blood pressure and administer medicine if necessary.

Cleaves has been volunteering one to two times a week at the Gabbard Clinic for about twenty years, but now he’s moved his free services to the clinic’s breezeway so he doesn’t compromise his health during the pandemic.

When asked why he compromises his health in order to help people, he said he attributes it to a few things, including being nice.

“A doctor has it easy in this world, but we can’t all be doctors, so maybe it’s guilt,” he said.

Cleaves says for some homeless and low-income people, his services are not something they come by often and that even though they are not the Mayo Clinic, it is better than nothing.

“We’re a whole lot better than nothing and nothing is what most people get. So compared to nothing…we’re high tech,” Cleaves said.

Cleaves says that luck plays into life’s circumstances and that luck doesn’t afford everyone the same opportunities.

“So I figure if I got good luck and they’ve got bad luck it doesn’t hurt me to come over here and try to help out if I can,” he said.

The Gabbard Clinic, which is a service offered through Metro Ministries, offers its services for free to anyone in need. Dr. Cleaves is in on Tuesdays and Fridays from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. or10 a.m. to 2 p.m. based on demand and the clinic takes in patients based on a first-come-first-serve basis.

Metro Ministries also has a program where they hang clothes along this fence so that way homeless people can take them after its doors close for the day.