Volunteer nurses working with our homeless communities are on the front lines providing for the medical needs of our homeless communities and often times providing the services of a social worker as well. They are our first responders.
Verna, a retired nurse, has been volunteering for a year tending to the medical needs of our homeless community in SE Portland, Oregon.
Above: Verna prepares to treat a burn. While treating the burn, Verna talks with her patient about going to the hospital to have it taken care of further. Another advocate, Amanda, came out to drive him to the hospital.
Verna prepares to help Matt.
Verna graduated from nursing school in 1958 and she retired for the first time in 2004. After going back to work part-time at a hospice center, Verna retired for a second time. She now volunteers her services as a volunteer nurse for the homeless community with Knowing Me Ministries almost every Wednesday.
Photos ©2016 by Mary Anne Funk
Michael Davis joined in solidarity with housed and unhoused protestors in NW Portland to protest the mistreatment of our homeless community by Elephant Delicatessen’s management team, located on NW 22nd.
Photo © June 16, 2016 Mary Anne Funk
David Griffiths, right talks with Steve Hoyt-McBeth from PBOT about the hand bike he is about to ride. David is working with others in our community to bring awareness to the need for having adaptive bikes available in the Portland’s bike share program. Adaptive bikes provide access to bikes for people with disabilities and for people with limited mobility. Currently there are no adaptive cycles available in the bike share program.
“We know homelessness, we know strife, and we know hopelessness. That is why we are compelled and somewhat obligated to help others in need. That is why our passion lies within helping others. ” Joel Longanecker
“We know what it’s like to be housed and have everything you need and a good income, but we also know what it is like to have absolutely nothing. It helps you to see both sides.” Katie Longanecker
Joel and Katie Longanecker are high school sweethearts. Together they have weathered many storms and come through them with continued optimism and resilience. Last year was no exception. In 2015, Joel and Katie became homeless after the house they were renting to own went into foreclosure when the landlord they trusted stopped paying the mortgage. Joel and Katie spent over 7 years in that house and they were never late on their payment. Read more “Finding Home: Joel and Katie Longanecker”