[Posted by Sylvia Broome, member of the Church on the Street community and director of women’s and human trafficking ministries]
My daughter had surgery in May. I was impressed by the gentle and reassuring attention from the nurses, the thorough conversation with the doctor prior to the surgery, and the visit from the anesthesiologist who carefully took her history.
After the surgery, she had multiple doses of pain medicine, cold compresses on her eyes for comfort, and frequent changes of bandages. The doctor stopped in to check on her. She stayed for several hours in recovery since she was so groggy from the anesthesia. When she was ready to go home, she was gently helped into the car by the nurse. The care she received was like a five star spa.
Jerry, a homeless member of our community, also had surgery in May. Jerry’s surgery was on both eyelids. He was not told prior to the surgery that he would need someone to help him with a ride after the surgery. Because of this, he had not made arrangements to get back to the facility where he was staying.
After the surgery was over he called me and said “I can’t see.” I drove to the hospital to pick him up and found him sitting alone on a wall outside of the hospital. He had been released with both eyes swollen shut, groggy and disoriented from the anesthesia. He could barely walk and needed two people to help him get into the car.
How different it is to have surgery when you are poor, homeless and uninsured.
Monday through Friday after lunch we have what we call enrichment time. This is a time period when things get done within the community. Cleaning, clothing closet operation, work on resumes, etc. We have a couple of old desktop computers and a printer//copier/fax machine.
The two computers we have are rather old and have come to a point where they’re basically useless. In order to continue doing the part of our ministry that requires computer use, we desperately need two new units.
I know this is asking a lot, but I definitely wouldn’t ask if items were not needed. If can help or know someone that can all of our contact info is on our website at church on the street
You know those little dental kits you get when you go to the dentist? It’s usually a toothbrush, tooth paste and floss. If you don’t use those then we definitely can. We give them to people living on the street as they have need.
The dentist I go to puts them in a plastic resealable bag which makes it really nice if you live outdoors.
It’s a fairly simple answer, but it does take a little explaining. Most of us really don’t think about running out of clothes. We wear clothes, they get dirty, we put them in the washer/dryer and viola!!! The once dirty clothes are almost like new and we start over.
But living on the street presents different challenges. With no way to wash clothing, they must simply be discarded at some point. There’s just no way around it. It would be awesome if we had a way to provide laundry facilities, but at this point we don’t.
So we go through a lot of clothing on a weekly basis. Our community members that are in need sign up for a visit to the clothing closet. We pass out what we have and rinse and repeat.