Finally able to recompose himself in his modular home
Mr. B. moved into his new home on a Tuesday after having lived on the street for 6 years. It’s quite visible that he’s now well established there. He receives us with a cup of coffee. Medical appointments have been made to get his health back on track. And he let us know what this home had given him: peace of mind and, physically, the possibility to get a rest.
Getting back on track at one’s own rhythm
That morning reminded me of the importance to respect everybody’s personal rhythm in the healing process. It’s essential to give Mr. F. the necessary time, without undue haste, to overcome his difficulties.
Always hoping for a miracle…
Street Nurses does fantastic work but sometimes we run into a complicated system that offers us no solutions.
Mr. H won’t be discouraged by the failing system
Seeing what Mr. H has to go through, we realise that much needs to be improved to allow these people, who we meet every day, quickly to leave street life behind.
On the street: the experience of an accompanying volunteer nurse
As a voluntary nurse, I sometimes have, through the work of Street Nurses, interesting meetings with people who live there.
Hope makes you go on
I hadn’t seen Mr. J. for a long time.
As his contact person for more than a year, I had ample opportunity to meet him, get to know him and accompany him in his good, and sometimes not so good, moments.
He is still standing, where others would have given up long ago
Last week, Mr. E. was told he had throat cancer. But faced with the news, he remained stoic. It takes more to upset him after having lived on the street for twenty years and having experienced about everything under the sun.
In the end, we are all masters of our own lives
Mr. B's story shows how we can accompany people in their vulnerability by getting used to their situation, knowing that precariousness in a such a life is unavoidable – and that they already travelled a very long road.
Providing Mrs B with a place to stay - quite an adventure!
We met Mrs. B in 2019 on the street where she had been living already for several years. She had developed her little habits in her neigbourhood and, for instance, often visited the supermarket around the corner to freshen up and use the facilities.
when you suddenly disappear
One aspect of my work that I find really hard to cope with are the deaths. When one of our patients leaves us, we must close their file and continue with the other patients. That’s a difficult phase - but that’s how it is in practical reality. How to process the resulting frustrations and questions is not something you learn at school.
A dream, sadly not realized
Ah, Paris! The city of his dreams! He had been there before when he was younger. He thought it was also warmer there!
Celebrating New Year’s Eve: that was his dream. So, we threw ourselves into realizing that project for him. Travel by train or by bus? Reserve which hotel? Street Nurses became a real travel agency!
A society of appearances
In our society outward appearance matters a lot. Emotions should remain under control, women must be protected, and men are not supposed to cry. Such norms also apply in our professions, dealing with injustice, despair, precariousness, sickness, and exclusion.