Difference Makers: Medical Student Organizes Non-Profit

An East Bay medical student has created his own non-profit to help the homeless community during the coronavirus pandemic.

Heading into his final year of medical school at Western University, Farhan Himmati was prepared to gain valuable experience with patient interaction and communication skills.

However, when COVID-19 hit, all classes were moved online.

"The first few years of med school are more book learning and the last two are supposed to be clinical, so it took away from that clinical experience," Himmati said.

Himmati decided to take matters into his own hands to help people in need. With help from his family, he formed the Himmati Foundation, a non-profit organization that helps distribute handmade face masks, food, gloves and other supplies to the homeless.

Farhan Himmati has created his own non-profit to help the homeless community during the coronavirus pandemic.
Courtesy Farhan Himmati

"The homeless are extremely vulnerable at this time, so it just felt like a way to reach out to them so they are not left out," Himmati said.

Since its founding in March, they’ve expanded their efforts to shelters in Seattle and New York.

"This is all being carried out by medical colleagues of mine who are also students in their respective states. They’ve reached out and helped expand this project," Himmati told KCBS Radio.

Farhan Himmati has created his own non-profit to help the homeless community during the coronavirus pandemic.
Courtesy Farhan Himmati

More than 2,400 masks have been made and over 5,400 gloves have been donated to date.

Himmati’s goal is to inspire other medical students to help out and to continue donating even after the pandemic.

"I know after the outbreak perhaps PPE won’t be as necessarily needed, but another project we’re thinking about is hygiene kits," Hmmati said. "That also fills a medical need."

If you know someone who is working to keep their community safe during the COVID-19 crisis and would like to nominate them as a KCBS Radio Difference Maker, email us here.