Summer is a more challenging season than winter for people who live in the streets.
A Tale of Two Summers began on this blog two weeks ago. Here’s today’s installment featuring the story of Paul from last summer:
Paul received two mosquito bites on his hand while sleeping on the cool concrete of a drainage ditch. It seemed like no big deal. But when he scratched them, life on the summer streets meant those bites were open to the elements. Paul watched with alarm one morning as red lines of infection climbed up his arm. For homeless people seeking a cool place to sleep in a park or wooded area, mosquitoes and ticks not only keep them awake all night, but also spread diseases or leave wounds that become infected – as happened to Paul.
Paul made his first visit to the Open Door Mission Free Health & Healing Clinic in time to clean and treat his wounds last summer. In the last year, he’s come back to the Clinic for a few basic needs like glasses and blood pressure checks. Just a few weeks ago, Paul decided to explore our residential recovery programs, where he is focused on sobriety, job training, and educational skills. The added benefit to the public for someone brought to sobriety and job readiness is an additional $21,745 to the $35,000 per person, per year, for rescuing a homeless person from the streets.
It’s a tale of two summers for our hurting and homeless neighbors. One summer they can be at great risk from the heat; the next they can be sheltered and on their way to a better life. Thanks to people like you, the tale is getting better for hundreds of people in need this year.