Today we celebrate Steve’s Birthday and 5 years of sobriety and leaving homelessness behind. It was July 7 th 2015 3 days before his birthday when Leigh Ann and I were doing street outreach and came upon Steve in a real serious situation. Steve was laying on the ground in the sleeping back we gave him the week before. As I approached Steve I could see there was something not right. Steve looked up at me and said he could not feel his legs and that he has not been able to walk for 3 days. You can just imagine what that meant him laying there in his own waste broken drunk and trapped. We could not leave him there we called the ambulance followed them up to the hospital and stayed with him through the whole process. Steve’s blood alcohol level was 4.0 at emergency room. We worked with Social Work department at hospital and arranged for Steve to be transported to a rehab center upon discharge for physical therapy to make sure he could walk properly again. During the 4 week stay at rehab we made arrangements for him to get into housing. After the 4 weeks Steve landed in his own place and became our right hand man out on the streets of Syracuse. Now its been 5 years and 3 days from that event and Steve is reunited with his children and living in S. Carolina. Please celebrate with us on Steve’s Day by wishing Him a Happy Birthday.
What a Powerful Day on the streets loving on our friends who are experiencing homelessness. Today’s lunch consisting of a Cuban Sandwich allows us to treat to friends who were in pain. Our 1st friend accepted our lunch and was about to go back under the bridge when he spun around and asked sheepishly if he could speak with the Doctor. I said of Course that is why he is with us, to treat you! He proceeded to explain his symptoms and Doc diagnosed him with a Urinary Tract Infection (UTI). Doc was able to give him the meds he needed and we will be doing a follow up next week.
Our 2nd friend reached out to us today via a phone call and said he needed to meet up with us, we set up a time and location to see him. When we arrived he was sitting on the curb with a bloody swollen face. I asked him what happened he said he was jumped this morning by a couple of guys and was hit across the head and neck and was knocked unconscious. He refused medical treatment and did not want to go to the Hospital and was wondering around all morning and afternoon. We engaged him at 130 Doc was able to exam him and Anna (Med Student MS2) was able to clean up his face. Upon assessment he had 2 teeth that were knocked out a cut lip as well as a cut inner mouth. He still did not want to go to the Hospital but we were able to tend to his wounds, love and encourage him as well as giving him ointments, creams and some meds for his pain. Trust is the key to these encounters and it all starts with a lunch the opens a door to a relationship. Today’s Cuban Sandwich allowed these doors to open today. Big Thank You to YOU our Sous Chefs who continue to support our work. Together we are making a difference in the lives of those who feel Invisible.
John and Leigh Ann
Partnership from the Community is very important at IMFK. Big thank you to Natur-Tyme Health Food Store for your continued friendship. Not only does Natur-Tyme carry our Taste and See Pasta Sauce they also just donated 4.5 Gallon container of Olive Oil! Why is this a big deal? Its a Big deal because every in kind gift to our work allows us to continue servicing and loving on our friends living outdoors. To all the Team at Natur-Tyme we appreciate you and your commitment to our community.
Did you know that Eating with a Purpose can assist us in serving our friends through out our Community. 100% of the proceeds comes back to our mission that allows us to build hope and change lives. Click on the Taste and See tab here on our website to find a store location near you. Nelson Farms Country store will ship for all of our out of town supporters and we will deliver to your front door in Onondaga County. Pleas consider supporting our work by Eating with a Purpose, filling your belly will allow us to continue feeding our friends outdoors.
Working brings Value and Dignity to our friends who are usually Pan-Handling. There is nothing better than working for your keep and boy do our friends work. Our Crew was able to collect over 900 Gallons of trash through out our community in CNY. Kevin and Carolyn do such a great job encouraging our friends and letting them know they are not Invisible. During our work day Carolyn will do one on one assessments with our Friends. During these intimate moments Carolyn finds out the Story behind each card board sign. Everyone has a story and once trust is established the real story appears. The IMFK team will then strategies to figure out a plan for our friends were they can have a successful outcome to their broken stories. Every success story takes time but it all starts with unconditional Love, a kind word and little bit of Hard Work. When our friends know we have their back and best interest there is nothing that is impossible. Its all about a Hand Up not a Hand Out!
John and Leigh Ann