We have accompanied Mrs. T., 54 years old, from 2018 after a friendly citizen pointed her out to us.
Several organisations accompanied her in the street simultaneously. But the links became ever more complicated and collapsed in the end. That was part of her strategies to adapt to her new life on the street…
We then took over with our colleagues of the mobile “107 précarité” team.
Through weekly visits, occasionally with a mixed team, we managed to create a bond of trust.
Unfortunately, her fragile situation and alcohol consumption gradually undermined her autonomy.
She became ever less mobile and got finally more or less stuck in a corner of the station. It became very difficult to organise procedures for her, our bond weakened and in the end she became pessimistic about what we could do for her.
One Friday, somebody stole her bottles of alcohol. Her limited mobility stopped her from buying new ones. And the people she could usually rely on were absent during the weekend. On Monday we found her in a deep withdrawal crisis. With her agreement we then called an ambulance.
Thanks to emergency admission she could continue rehabilitation under the surveillance of a medical team. In addition, she received daily care, food, and proper medication. We regularly visited her with the “107 précarité” team to ensure her of our support during this period of change and renewal.
During those visits we could also get the hospital’s agreement to prolong her admission to give us time to find a housing solution and avoid that she would end up on the street again.
But in spite of all her own efforts and those of the accompanying teams, she returned voluntarily to “her station”.
Which was no reason for us to drop her! When she needed treatment for her foot, badly affected by her chronic ailments and limited mobility, we told her how worried we were about her health. We then managed to bring up a retirement home, which, thanks to our partnership with the Montessori project, could welcome her.
We took her on a visit to the home. She liked it very much and could imagine her future there.
On the day of her arrival, the teams of Street Nurses, “107 précarité” and the home’s staff organised a feel-good-moment to make sure she could move into her new surroundings with complete peace of mind.
Mrs. T. continues to receive visits from us and “107 précarité” in cooperation with the housing section of Street Nurses, which will ensure the entire future follow-up.
- Yasmine, Street Nurse
(*) We do our utmost to respect the privacy of our patients and our professional secrecy. However, we want to testify to how they must survive and how we are working together to reintegrate them. As a result, the names of places and people are deliberately omitted or changed and real-life situations are placed in a different context. There is no direct link between the photos and the stories above.