Happy Friday! What the FAQ?: It’s CANADA, if people want to go to the doctor they can, so I don’t really see why being homeless would affect that part of it; I mean, wouldn’t they get in even QUICKER to see a doctor if they are homeless?
A: True story; someone asked that at a speaking engagement. In a lot of ways, housing itself can be considered a form of health care because it prevents new conditions from developing and existing conditions from worsening.
Thinking of my own health: my back hurt for several days earlier in the week. I called my doctor and got in the next day. I have the ability to leave work early to attend that appointment, a car that I drove there. I was seen, treated well, my symptoms taken at face value and tests done. I drove where needed for blood tests and ultrasound. Any medication I filled same day, read the label and take as directed. While I wait for it to “kick in” I chill at home all comfy on my couch, watching Netflix and fielding calls from my mother to ask how I am feeling and if I need anything at all. The medication does it work, I am back up and running without a concern.
Homeless? You might put off that pain for days, weeks, longer even. You have so much else to deal with, and don’t have a regular doctor anyway; I’m sure it’ll go away on its own. The doctor at the clinic, not knowing you well (you don’t have a family GP familiar with you), might assume you are “drug seeking” and it always feels like they are treating you poorly. Even if you wanted to go to the doctor, you can’t get there anyway because you have no car, money for the bus, or a friend/family member to drive you. Even if you make it there, you lost your drug card from OW- god knows how many messages you will leave for your worker to get a copy, hardly seems worth the trouble. But say you did get the medication you needed- it says “take three times a day with food”- what if you don’t have access to food three times a day if you are sleeping rough? Ugh, it’s making your stomach hurt worse now, so you stop taking it. Or it gets lost or gets stolen while you are rough-sleeping. And while you are feeling worse and worse- there is nowhere safe and comfortable for you to rest, to recuperate, to just “relax and get some rest”; no family or friend who’s dropping off chicken soup to your tent or at the shelter. Eventually, your small problem lands you in the ER with serious complications.
Living on the street or in shelters takes your current health problems and makes them worse, and gives you new ones! Being without a home makes you more vulnerable to serious physical/mental health problems, as well as assault and rape; it also makes chronic health conditions worse (things like diabetes, asthma, hypertension, mental health concerns, arthritis, etc). Despite having often higher needs, people experiencing homelessness have many barriers to receiving health care- things like lack of ID, difficulty getting transportation to health care offices, feelings of stigmatization. They are at higher risk of contracting infectious diseases. Homelessness entails a daily struggle for the essentials of life- so these competing priorities can lead people to “discount” their health in favor of more critical day to day needs.
Poor health can be a cause of homelessness too, when people have insufficient income to afford housing, maybe because they couldn’t work, or had high medical expenses, leading to eviction, etc.
When people have stable housing, they no longer need to prioritize finding a place to sleep each night and can spend more time managing their health, making time for doctors’ appointments, and adhering to medical advice and directions. Housing also decreases the risk associated with further disease and violence.: ... See moreSee less
Angels in the Night Windsor Chapter stopped by Tuesday night to spread some cheer. Amazing group of people and really show the impact made when individuals gather together as a group; Thank-you! ... See moreSee less
Wow- what an amazing few weeks of donations coming in! We are overflowing with clothing donations and good for now- thank you so much to all who have recently donated and are helping finish off the year and head into 2019. Still looking for cleaning supplies of all kinds, toiletries, and small housewares for any upcoming moves! ... See moreSee less
CLEANING SUPPLIES NEEDED! Making holiday runs to Walmart, the DollarStore and Costco? Can you pick the shelter up any of the following? Large amounts are always needed to keep the shelves stocked and shelter clean and costs down! - Lysol Wipes -Floor Cleaner -Laundry Detergent (powder) -All-purpose cleaner -Large garbage bags -Bleach ... See moreSee less
Welcome Centre Shelter for Women added 5 new photos.
55th Windsor Spark, Guide, Pathfinder, and Ranger unit has a wonderful evening donating items, making wreaths to brighten the shelter, and decorating gingerbread houses for the women. Future Women Leaders in Training! ... See moreSee less
Michelle AndDanAs contact Guider for the 55th Windsor Spark Brownie Guide Pathfinder and Ranger Unit we want to wish you all a very Merry Christmas. Thank you to Lady And her staff for setting up a place where we could meet and brining in all the craft supplies for our unit to design that evening. Our unit had so much fun and was so excited to bring in all of their donations knowing that it was going to a great cause!
Good info for community of donors, helpers, and change agents! Some questions agencies should consider when doing ad campaigns for their cause. How are we and other area charities adding up? ... See moreSee less
Just a snapshot of some things overheard this week; staff comforting a client whose friend passed away earlier in the week, clients visiting their kids (always a good day when family reunification is being worked on!), and women looking for safe and affordable housing finding a never-ending list of men willing to exploit their vulnerability. ... See moreSee less