When people worry about necessities like food, shelter, and employment, their eye care often falls to the wayside. In North Carolina, 12% of the population lives in poverty and many are also uninsured. In Her Vision is dedicated to empowering women, children, LGBTQ+ and gender non-binary individuals in underserved communities to live their lives with confidence by providing access to basic vision services.
The non-profit works with other community organizations to provide free eye examinations and eyeglasses. These organizations include homeless shelters, domestic abuse shelters, recovery homes for women, youth at-risk programs, and more.
In Her Vision started its work on a small scale, reaching non-profit status in 2022. Currently, the organization runs one mobile clinic per month. Anywhere from 10 to 20 patients at each clinic receive comprehensive eye exams and are fitted with a free pair of glasses on site.
Thanks to the support of OGS, In Her Vision is able to hire additional personnel, allowing them to expand to four clinics per month and serve up to 40 patients at each event. Through the funding, 3,200 people every year will benefit. The OGS funding also enabled the organization to hire a driver, expanding its reach beyond its current 20-mile radius to those living in surrounding counties.
Based in Durham, In Her Vision was founded by Dr. Mojgan Besharat, a queer woman of color and first-generation immigrant. Dr. Besharat has been in clinical practice as an optometrist since 1997.
“We know there is inequity in treating certain groups of people such as women and children of color, queer and gender non-confirming individuals,” said Dr. Besharat. “Every bit of help will allow us to continue to expand our work for those who are underserved, and we are thankful for the support of Optometry Giving Sight.”