One evening at Peter and Paul Dinner Service, Nurse Cindy met Mr. L – a 63 year-old veteran who was a pilot in the Vietnam War. Mr. L was standing in the room, studying the poster board that shows possible resources available which our nurse displays near her table. Mr. L approached the nurse’s table for health assessment intake. He then shared his story of hardship. He had been evicted and was currently homeless. He needed legal services and a place to call home. He was lonely and in the severe cold during the winter. Nurse Cindy listened to his story and assured him that she would do her best to help him as much as she was able to. Through the resources from the Deaconess Nurse Ministry, Cindy helped him with the process of applying for housing, legal and tax preparation assistance.
The next month, he returned with the paperwork which showed he had been approved for an apartment. He was so happy and wanted to say “thanks” to the nurse. He said he had been on the street for many years. There was still a lot he needed to do. He was happy to be in an apartment, but he couldn’t really afford much. He had anxiety talking about the emptiness of his apartment. He also needed access to dental and healthcare. Cindy told him that he was welcome to come see her with any health related concern, she would always be there to help him. She gave him information about free Salam clinics where another nurse from Deaconess Nurse Ministry is working, at which he can see a Physician or a Psychologist if needed. She then helped him apply for emergency assistance with Deaconess Nurse Ministry – Senior Fund for $250. The fund paid for a deposit for the apartment he was approved for. Deaconess Nurse Ministry provided a complete set of dishes, silverware, glasses, pots and pans, all the necessary kitchen utensils, a wall clock to match the pattern, bath towels, shower caddy, bed sheet sets and blankets. Everything he needed to make the apartment a home for him.
Mr. L is now independent and safe in his own space to contemplate his faith in God. He is taking better care of his health, he is willing to reach out for help without feeling afraid that people would judge him. With a smile on his face, he said: “I really like the clock the most.”