Jessica Edwards (left) and Elizabeth Birruete of the VNA Hospice Latino Mobile Resource Center bring their services to Chualar on July 9. The center will come to King City on July 16 and 23. (Photo by Sean Roney)

KING CITY — VNA Hospice will host two locations in King City where its Latino Mobile Resource Center van will be parked and staff will be on hand to help with community needs.

The mobile center, which also stopped in Chualar on July 9, offers assistance with information about end-of-life decisions and care for Spanish-speaking community members. The van operates as part of Hospice Giving Foundation’s Juntos con Esperanza partnership.

Staff will not only assist with information, but are also taking a community needs survey to see how they can be of assistance other than discussing end of life.

“What else can we help you with, what other resources do you need at this time,” said Elizabeth Birruete, Latino outreach coordinator for VNA, noting that people are less open to discussing end-of-life issues in light of Covid-19.

“A majority of the topics requested by the community are housing, health insurance coverage for people who are laid off,” Birruete added.

She explained the VNA’s partnerships with multiple area organizations means they have access to other resources as well.

The van will first stop by St. John Catholic Church, 504 N. Third St., from 8 to 10 a.m. on July 16. Then, on July 23, it will visit Leo Meyer Center, 415 Queen St., from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.

The Thursday visit coincides with the food bank operation taking place that morning.

“We target the food bank because lots of people are going to be there looking for resources and support,” Birruete said.

The van’s prior visit to King City resulted in more than 100 surveys being distributed to assess community needs for information and resources.

“We’re getting the feel, what are the needs in King City, Soledad and Greenfield, as each city is different,” Birruete said. “We’re really trying to tailor the resources to what the community needs at each specific location.”

The van, which features painted characters to draw attention and stand out as a mobile sign to indicate where VNA staff are operating a mobile center, also acts as a small warehouse for materials, so that staffers have resources ready for the differing community needs.

“Having that mobile van, I feel, identifies us as having resources for the community,” Birruete said. “Ensuring that we are helping the community feel connected and supported during this pandemic.”

The VNA is already preparing its August roster for visits in South Monterey County, with a potential location at the flea market in King City. Birruete explained the van might visit areas with higher foot traffic, such as grocery stores, since they must get creative with the Covid-19-caused shutdowns of usual meeting areas.

Since 1951, the nonprofit VNA Hospice has used a team-oriented approach to help those facing a life-limiting illness, along with their families and caregivers. For more information, visit or call 831-372-6668.

VNA Hospice’s Latino Mobile Resource Center van will stop in King City to provide resources about end-of-life decisions and care during the month of July. (Contributed Photo)
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Sean Roney is a freelance reporter for King City Rustler and Salinas Valley Tribune, a unified publication of Greenfield News, Soledad Bee and Gonzales Tribune. He covers general news for the Salinas Valley communities in South Monterey County.


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