Archive for April, 2016

How did I get here?

Yesterday, I spent 2 hours with a very special individual. He is currently homeless and when the winter shelter closes he has no plans. He doesn’t know where he is going to stay at night. He asks me, will the police let me sleep on a bench here? I sadly said no. He carries with him all his belongings in 2 plastic grocery bags. He smiles at me with his toothless grin and says, that’s OK, I’ll find a place to stay. We get escorted to his appointment room. He can’t help his legs from shaking in the chair, he tells me he has to use the bathroom all the time…not knowing this is partly because his diabetes is so out of control. I kindly asked the nurse to assist him to the bathroom, because in addition to his constant urge to urinate he has also lost his eye sight due to uncontrolled diabetes. He comes back, we discuss his current medical conditions with the doctor and they leave us. He looks at me kindly, says..you know, I have had several jobs, UPS truck driver, a cab driver, and a CNA. I have traveled the world been to Europe, road tripped across America…originally from Africa, I’ve seen a lot of things and places. But no place compares to America, you have so much available to you in America. It is the greatest country in the world, but it is competitive. If you are not competitive you will lose. I was not. Oh, Laura, how did I get here?

~ Laura LaCroix

 

Today I watched a woman and her boyfriend go “shopping” in our donations room….they have been wearing the same outfits for 2 weeks. They were so grateful for everything we had to offer. I was asked several times, “can we have this?” Every time I smiled and said of course..as they sorted through the items I heard them constantly say to one another, we don’t need that, leave some of those, this is amazing…

You see this couple had a rough past, burned the bridges with their loved ones, the only bridges not burned are through current drug users. They sought out help at a rehab. When they started dating they were kicked out of rehab…tossed to the streets. All of their belongings were kept at the rehab and they have nothing.  They didn’t want to speak badly about the rehab because they felt it had truly helped them. They are now staying in a winter shelter. How do we expect people to stay clean&sober? They fought the fight of withdrawal, found support and are put to the streets. I can’t imagine how hard it would be to stay clean facing the circumstances these people have to face. It’s very sad to me…we lack support in the areas that we need it most, for the people who need it and want it..

This couple, they told me not to worry, they found love and are going to support each other through this mess. I assisted them in getting clothes, hygiene products, nail polish…just so she could feel normal again…

And thank to the person who donated the Uggs…she was ecstatic, you would have thought she won the lottery as she screamed with joy. I wish you could have seen her face.

~Laura LaCroix, R.N.

The (EM)powering media

Posted: April 22, 2016 in Uncategorized

Every time an interview is requested, a reporter calls, a camera crew is invited-it is a difficult decision to make. Media has power. Or should I say the ability to EMpower when done right. Yesterday I received an email from an acquaintance who saw a homeless man in his usually spot who looked like he had lost weight and had a mass on his abdomen and didn’t know who else to tell. Brett got a call from someone who just learned that her coworker was homeless and living out of her car and didn’t know who else to tell. Media sheds a light in places where is was dark. Or rather helps you see what you have been looking at everyday on your drive to work. And that is why sometimes we say yes. This movement is really about you and asking you to act in some way to take better care of each other. Thank you for answering the call.