Mother nature showed its fury with snow up and down the eastern seaboard this past weekend. I live in Fort Lauderdale, and it has been cooler than usual since Christmas. Most of us take the weather in stride. We dress warm and do our best to clear the snow, so we are safe when we leave our homes. Most of us are just trying to do our best to make it till spring.
Many people have no choice to take the cold weather in stride, and they are the homeless. I was recently asked to help a colleague who had a patient whose apartment caught fire, leaving the apartment unlivable. As a result, this 74 -year old man, his 75-year-old wife, and 13-year-old granddaughter were homeless.
Finding affordable housing in most cities is a challenge. If you have been following the real estate market, you know apartments are scarce, and prices are high.
My patient and his family use what money they have to stay in low-cost hotels as they work through a complex and challenging system.
I called the various organizations that provided homeless resources but was told repeatedly they didn’t have any openings. COVID has made congregate living hard, and the rise in prices has made finding affordable housing scarce.
Take time to investigate the resources in your area. Get to know what help is needed and see if you can put a project together to donate clothes, furniture, shoes, socks, underwear for men, women, and children. Furniture and food are also in need in places that help the homeless.
Thanks for reading this week’s Nurse Advocate Blog Post. Say a prayer for my patient that he and his family get a break.
Anne, that is a difficult situation. And they are caring for their 13-year-old grandchild! I do hope they find permanent accommodation soon. I have a friend who regularly collects items for a men’s shelter. I was surprised that the most requested items are socks. I find it easy to add a personal care item or socks to my shopping basket for those who are struggling in today’s reality. Some shelters in my area are not accepting donations of used clothing due to fear of the current virus.
Thank goodness they have you to help them! So many societal issues would be improved if we invested in low-cost, decent housing for people. Instead, we punish people–often for things that aren’t their fault. I wish this family the best of luck moving through the system.
It seems that everyday across our vast country we hear heartbreaking stories about loss of life limb and/or property. Indeed it is heartbreaking but to me what is more heartbreaking is that more people do not come to the rescue. There is so much wealth in our society. Wealth that is spent frivolously on items such as finery that we do not need. Our time is consumed by nonsense instead of concern for our fellow man. I am committed to sharing my time and wealth with others including family, friends and strangers. I am glad there are others who feel as I –I hope for more. We are nurses, teachers, social workers and other care givers and health care providers. In our own way we are philanthropists. I wish there were more! Good luck to your client; he has a true advocate on his side ❤️