Fungus, bacterial infection and gangrene – all problems that can affect those who do not properly care for their feet. The homeless are particularly vulnerable to these health problems due to a lack of showers, access to proper shoes and socks and the inability to dry feet properly after they become wet.
As you remember, Anthony was admitted to the hospital last week because his feet became so damaged his socks were soaked with blood. After that episode, I thought I would talk to my podiatrist to see if he could treat Anthony. It would be really convenient for Anthony as his office is about 30 yards from where Anthony sells the Street Sense at 19th and M.
Although the doctor explained he did not take Medicaid, he didn’t hesitate to see Anthony. “Not a problem, I’d be happy to see him for free,” he told me. Wow…what a great guy.
So met up with Anthony this morning to take him to his appointment. As we sat in the waiting room I noticed that Anthony was not wearing socks! “You didn’t wear socks today?” I asked him.
“I ran out. I’m sorry,” he said pulling his pant leg up to reveal his bloated ankles.
Despite saying he was a bit scared of what they were going to do, Anthony did great and came out smiling 30 minutes later. “Doc made me a pair of socks!” he said grinning like a kid on a merry-go-round. I was kind of puzzled, but he pulled up his pants again. His bare ankles were covered with a cleverly made sock that the doctor made out of medical gauze. That’s not going to last long though. If you want to send Anthony socks, shoot me a message. He wears a size 9 shoe.
I also learned today about his meeting yesterday with the housing group. Anthony and our superstar outreach worker from Pathways to Housing, went to meet with Catholic Charities. They operate a house that offers single room apartments. “I’d have keys to my own apartment, can come and go as I want. I’ll have my own bed!” His faced twitched a bit and he shook his head in disbelief. “And, the room has a small refrigerator and a lamp.”
“I’ve only got two rooms left,” the woman from Catholic Charities said before pausing and saying, “Correction, I only have one room…because one of them is for you.” Wow! Anthony was beaming. He said that his portion of the rent will be between $375-425. He will need help to be able to make the down-payment, buy basic linens and toiletries, etc. If you can help, please write to me. I’m already planning a special party for Anthony to celebrate him getting his own keys. If you have any ideas on how to celebrate the occasion I’d love to hear from you as well.
On my end, I’m pushing ahead with writing. My agent has been swamped lately so we haven’t been in touch as much as I would like. He’s tied up for the next two weeks and then I will be traveling for a while. I bought a helpful book called How to Write A Lot. My friend Keya Chatterjee said it was useful in writing her first book that was just published earlier this month. It’s a really cool book for new parents who want to know how to raise their children with less impact on the environment. Check it out!
Well, I got to get back to writing.