Ryan Bemis is a co-founder of Crossroads Community Supported Healthcare, and he has incredible things to say about our We Co-operate! program. Crossroads has been involved in the We Co-operate! program since March 2012.
“Crossroads Community Supported Healthcare is a 501 (c) 3 non-profit organization (doing business as Crossroads Acupuncture) whose mission is to make healthcare accessible and affordable to people of all income levels through the support of local communities. We do this through providing low-cost services, training health providers in cost-effective techniques, and helping underserved groups establish and sustain their own community supported health projects”
Which Cooperative values do you identify with most?
We’re all about building community, and supporting local efforts to keep the community healthy. Like the Coop, our clinic offers a down-to earth, community-oriented place for people to just be, to relax, to take care of themselves, and participate in a grassroots, local movement. We both assume that people really do have motivation and a desire to care for themselves, but too often in our world lack of access to the things that you need to take care of yourself contributes to isolation and illness. In our society “healthy living” is too often out of touch with everyday people. Too expensive. The cultural and class divides between the haves and the have-nots too often means that those who are well-off get to be healthy. We want everyone, from all walks of life, from all classes, to have access to healthy activities: not just the rich and educated. And I believe, like MountainView, we go out of our way to make it easier for everyday people to do something good for themselves, and create new culture for self-change to be possible.
What are the origins of your organization?
We started back in 2011, brought in by the Catholic Diocese of Juarez as a program to train health promoters within their churches in response to theviolence. Then we started a clinic in 2012 in an old building in downtown Cruces: We were the first community acupuncture clinic in the region. We always wanted to be downtown right in there with other entreprenuers and community organizers interested in building our local economy and our social capital. I really didn’t know if our clinic would make it. I had no experience doing anything like this. But people kept coming back, some seeking help for everyday pain and stress, others going through cancer or parkinson's or PTSD. Our community--which is the people who come to our clinic--they have built up our clinic and set our sails towards something that could be sustainable. In Juarez, we’ve been able to be a part of the healing and re-building process, and be a witness to community resilience, peace-building, and nonviolent social change in a city that was just a few years ago marred as the Murder Capital of the World. Through training and direct care provided by a small staff, a shoe-string budget, and a lot of volunteers, together we have, little by little, helped provide over 50,000 treatments in the borderlands. Most of these treatments have been provided at no cost. It’s been fun!
How do you see your company as a part of the local community?
We’ve always been right in the middle of the downtown district, where many groups are trying to help our city grow, and create projects that will bring people back to the heart of Las Cruces. We’re there every Wednesday and Saturday for the Farmer’s Market. Another example: in partnership with MountainView, Project Mainstreet, Shakti Rising and we’re throwing a downtown funk/soul dance party at our clinic on Friday September 11 at 8pm, Shahid will DJ and everything we raise will go to support our work with Shakti towards our training program for health promoters in Juarez. There’s no other place to go out dancing in downtown, so we’re going to create that space. And all towards a good cause. We’re looking forward to it, and we’re grateful for MountainView’s support!
Explain why keeping money local is so important for you?
Keeping money local means you get to invest directly in the growth of your community. Our surplus revenues, for example, don’t go to feed a corporation or a small group of investors. We put our profits to helping underserved groups in our region, which is what we refer to as the Crossroads Border Project and Flores de Juarez.
Who? Ryan Bemis, Executive Director of Crossroads
What? Community Acupuncture
Co-op Member-Owner discount? 2 for $30 treatments if members bring another person with them on their first visit
130 South Main
Las Cruces, New Mexico 88001