ON THE CORNER OF LYONS AVENUE AND WORMS STREET IN the FIFTH WARD, there is now a mural bursting with colorful mosaics of mandalas and real human hand prints of all sizes. It's the work of Reginald Adams, the Houston artist you might recognize for his glass and tile street mosaics, or maybe his ever-changing Obama mural, met by vandals throughout its tenure. For this new project, Adams says the seven murals are together meant to represent the human chakra. Symbolizing health and spiritual well-being, he titled the work Healing Hands—fitting for a mural located at the newly-minted Legacy Community Health clinic.
Legacy opened the doors to its Fifth Ward clinic on June 3. Fifth Ward qualifies as a health care desert, which is why Legacy Community Health put a clinic there in the first place: to help bridge a gap, providing health services where they were needed. Its first location in the area stood 10 years, just a couple blocks down the street, but it was bursting at the seams. When they lost their lease, it was time to prop up a new, larger clinic—one that could better fit community demand.
“Our other building down Lyons Avenue was jam-packed," Legacy Community Health's Director of Communications Kevin Nix says. "Now even this is getting packed at the seams already, even though it’s five times bigger.”
Legacy Community Health began in Montrose, where it served everyone, but mainly the LGBT community at a time when HIV and AIDS were a growing concern. Now, their clinic offers pediatrics, geriatrics, dental, vision, OB/GYN and behavioral health services, all under one roof.
“We have such a problem with health care. Texas is the highest uninsured [state] in the nation," Nix says. "The demand is growing in Houston—not shrinking—for affordable high-quality health care. Our mission is to drive health change within our communities, both inside the exam room and out."
As a part of a larger resurgence project in Fifth Ward, it was important to the clinic that they stayed true to community roots. So, they brought in Reginald Adams, who often invites the community to lend a helping hand (this time literally) with his public art endeavors. In Adams's studio, engagement workshops invited the community and staff members to leave their mark with clay castings of their own hands. A close observer can even spot initials carved into the clay.
"The community, from all the reaction, they love it," Nix says.
Healing Hands. Legacy Community Health, 3811 Lyons Avenue.