Charity is Helpful, But Joining the Struggle for Bathrooms, Places to Sit, Stand, and Sleep Is CRITICAL
November 13, 2010 by peopleproject
Foot Care Program for the People who are Experiencing Homelessness
“The foot care problems for people who are homeless are great and are a major deterrent for one to getting or maintaining a job. The average homeless person stands in lines about 4 hours a day and walks on the average of 35 miles a day usually on cement! If they are able to stay in a center that has no beds available they must sleep upright adding to their increasing their painful foot swelling.
Other problems usually include chronic foot infections, immersion foot (like Trench Foot) caused from being in wet socks & shoes too long, as well as severe calluses, blisters, and ingrown nails from poor (if any) socks and ill fitting shoes. Then of course in the winter there is the excruciatingly painful problem of frostbite….”
“A program sponsored by Nurses Foot Care Services is hoping to eliminate many of these peoples’ foot problems. After screening and treating them for the most immediate problems this group of volunteer nurses and nursing students will be doing intensive education on prevention as well as referrals. These people will be shown how to correctly, wash, rinse, dry, and screen their feet for problems. They will be taught how to file their toenails and pick out correctly fitting socks and shoes. Exercises & diet ideas to decrease their foot swelling will also be taught. They will also be given washable reusable nail files, good clean seamless socks, and shoes as needed.”
This program looks worthwhile for someone who needs shoes, socks, foot medical care, use of a sink and toe nail clippers. However, people experiencing homelessness, like anyone else, know what their feet need; there’s not an educational problem. The problem is that people can’t get what they need if there is no place to rest, to get out of the rain and cold, no place to slip the shoes off, wash socks and feet. This “foot program” is a good example of a group of people really trying to help their sisters and brothers who are not otherwise having their needs met, but most important would be joining the struggle for dignity and justice with and for people living houseless.
As long as every human need is systematically denied to people who are living without shelter, as long as houseless people are prohibited from going in places to get warm and dry, prohibited from using a shower, bathroom or kitchen sink, as long as police continue, throughout the country, to punish and chase houseless people around wherever they are, not let them sit, lie down, or BE ANYWHERE for very long- many of us who are living houseless- of all ages, backgrounds, and educations- will continue to be sick, in pain… and die on the streets.
Defend Homeless People! Take down the “Bathrooms for Customers Only” signs! Speak Out Against Prejudice and Oppression! Join the Struggle for Dignity and Justice!!