From the outside, the strip mall located at 70 Center Street in Hyannis doesn't look like much, and, in fact, it appears to be a little run down.
Indeed, the building has seen better days. Still, the interior of one of the storefronts is currently receiving a renovation and will soon open as a brand new medical information facility and community center.
This ministry won't be a standard community center or clinic, however, as it will aim to provide service to Cape Cod's Brazilian population. The goal is to give new immigrants a place to come together and seek information on living in a new country. The staff will also provide direction as newcomers learn how to find a doctor and seek primary medical care.
The Health Ministry, which will sit in a former fitness center, is being opened by Michael Mecenas, a mental health service provider and medical interpreter, and his wife, Tatiany. Michael has seen first-hand how Cape Cod's Brazilian population struggles with the language barrier when establishing themselves, and wants to offer assistance throughout the process.
The Mecenas family also hopes to reduce the strain on local hospitals by helping people find doctors to provide basic medical care and keeping them away from the emergency rooms unless absolutely necessary.
Here's what you should know about this new community center that will soon open in Hyannis.
Brazilians on the Cape
Cape Cod has a Brazilian population of between 10,000 and 15,000, and now, thanks to the Health Ministry, these individuals will have access to unprecedented levels of health assistance, fitness classes, and other services.
This new center aims to help those who have recently moved to the Cape from Brazil adapt to their new life in the area while providing a location where they can be directed to the medical assistance they require.
The center will have Portuguese and Spanish speaking staff, and will also provide mental health assessments and treatments for people who are struggling after relocating to the United States.
The idea is that people who have recently immigrated to Cape Cod can use the center as they adapt, while receiving help to overcome the language barrier, as well.
The Center's Location
This building enjoys a fantastic location that will make it accessible to people from all over the Cape.
Center Street, where the Health Ministry will operate, is just north of downtown Hyannis and also close to the Cape Cod Mall and the Barnstable Airport.
By opening up a new medical facility in a bustling urban area, the owners hope to provide services in a part of town that is already frequented by members of the Brazilian community.
The Purpose of the Center
With the Brazilian population skyrocketing on Cape Cod and the nearby islands, creating an assistance center was becoming increasingly vital.
This center will provide a variety of services for new Americans who have immigrated from Portuguese and Spanish speaking nations, starting with medical care information.
The healthcare system in the United States is far different from other parts of the world, and, often, new immigrants have no idea how to find primary or specialized care. By creating this center, the hope is that the area's Brazilian population will use the interpreters and services here to locate family doctors and seek medical coverage, rather than visiting the emergency room.
Other services that the center will provide include English lessons, information on schools, an overview of the criminal justice system, and assistance enrolling in health plans. There will be fitness classes available through the center, too.
Everyone is Welcome
One important aspect to note about this new community center is that absolutely everyone is welcome. While the center provides interpreters that are exclusively for Portuguese-speaking individuals, you're never excluded from heading to the center for medical care information, even if you've lived on Cape Cod for your entire life.
The Health Ministry hopes to provide an inclusive environment that aspires to improve the health and overall well-being of people all over the Cape Cod community.
The center's doors will open sometime in 2020, so keep an eye out and if you're in the neighborhood, stop by to check it out.