homeless

USC Students Create Product for Homeless to Store Medicine

The organization has received about 500 orders from street medicine groups around the country.

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Six USC students are helping the unhoused community in Los Angeles with a new product that helps keep medications secure.

"Remedy" is an insulated fanny pack that is small in design, making the pack easily hidden.

"One thing we heard is even backpacks get stolen off their backs as people are sleeping, so we knew it had to be as discreet as possible," said Hannah Lee, one of the founders of Remedy.

A bendable, flexible pill bottle goes inside the pouch. The founders said the prototype offers a solution to an overlooked problem when discussing the unhoused population.

"People think it has street value or think they can get high off of it and take it," said Vivianna Camarillo, co-founder of Remedy. "And a lot of the times, people just need medication for diabetes or heart complications."

Merrill Peralta-Gomez, a street medicine nurse at LA Christian Health Centers, has witnessed the poor health of the people on LA streets. She said Remedy could be a big game-changer.

"From what I see in the field, it's all chronic conditions," Peralta-Gomez said. "High blood pressure, diabetes, high cholesterol."

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Those ailments come with the need for medication. When people don't have a place to store their medicine, it adds to the difficulty of getting off the streets, Peralta-Gomez explained.

"The continuity of care of our patients is really hindered when they report lost or stolen medication," she said.

The team won the 2022 Min Family Challenge at USC, giving them a $50,000 grant to move forward. Forty people on LA streets are participating in the pilot program, and the organization has received about 500 orders from street medicine groups around the country.

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