A nurse in our Shelter for Public Inebriates, shared the below concerning her work to care for an often unloved population within our community: public inebriates. It is a testimony of grace and goodness and compassion demonstrated. Thank you to this particular nurse – and to all of our nurses – for her selfless love.
Imagine waking in a ditch with no recollection of how you got there. Imagine being an ex-convict or having HIV. Imagine being lost, alone, and rejected. Now imagine walking into a homeless shelter, still reeling from the alcohol you chose to deaden the pain.
Can you picture yourself still wet from the dew? Head pounding? Your body odor wafting through the tears in your clothing? What will people think of you? What will people say?
At Mel Trotter Ministries, we say, “I’ll take care of you anyway.”
My calling is to provide compassionate nursing care to the homeless population in Heartside. My job is at Mel Trotter Ministries, in their Shelter for Public Inebriates. The Shelter for Public Inebriates is a safe place for individuals to recover from alcohol and/or substance abuse intoxication. Our team provides medical assessment and care, triaging anything from heart attack to blistering sunburn.
What else do we do?
We hold garbage cans when stomachs refuse the nourishing food we provide. We carry limp, tired, and worn out bodies to and from bed. We keep guests accountable for their recovery and provide guidance and support. We perform CPR and save lives. But we also lose lives – to the community, to ignorance, and to demons that are too strong for our guests to overcome.
But we always come back and do it all over again.
I chose to apply and develop my nursing skills at a non-profit homeless shelter because I know so many of us are one bad circumstance – or series of circumstances – away from homelessness. Life can change in an instant. It could be me or my neighbor searching
desperately for someone to say, “I’ll take care of you anyway.”
This job has its challenges. I’ve seen and experienced unimaginable things. But I am honored and blessed to be a nurse here, to be a part of this community. Why? Because I get to be a part of giving others God with just a few simple words: I’ll take care of you anyway.