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Glasses for everyone

31 January 2023

The Optomobile offers eye exams and eyewear services to people living in residences, shelters, First Nations communities in Northern Quebec, and schools.

Its founder, Richard Ha, regularly drops by the Old Brewery Mission to offer his services to people experiencing homelessness. We took the opportunity to learn a bit more about him during one of his visits. 


Hi Richard, can you introduce yourself?

My name is Richard Ha, I’ve been a prescription optician since 2015. I have a mobile clinic that performs eye exams and provides glasses for people in need.

What made you want to create this mobile clinic?

I come from a family that immigrated from Vietnam and most the majority of the people who welcomed us here are now people living in our CHSLDs and senior residences. That is what made me want to give back to those people. 

Can you tell us a little more about the service?

When we started, the service was mainly in seniors’ residences and CHSLDs. Since the pandemic, the focus has shifted to non-profits and First Nations. We have been coming to the Old Brewery Mission for 4 years now, accompanied by optometry students from the University of Montreal who do the exams while we provide eyewear to people who need it. 

Is there a particular moment that has stood out for you since you started Optomobile?

It’s not one particular moment, but what often stands out for me is that many people need corrective lenses and don’t realize it. In 2023, vision should be a need that can be easily fulfilled and that is accessible to everyone. 



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