Foot Care for Homeless Guests
Gloria Escalona has a Masters in public health and is working on her nursing doctorate at SF State. And every Tuesday for the past 8 months, she shows up with her nursing and foot care equipment to lovingly tend the feet of our guests, do health screenings, and provide information on how to best care for feet while living on the streets. Foot care is vital for those who spend a large portion of the day walking or on their feet, with ill-fitting shoes, and often times dirty, or no, socks.
This last quarter she massaged, trimmed nails and callouses, and cared for a total of 66 guests. 80% of those she treated were new to her. For those needing additional care, she referred them to Dr. Rizzo, the podiatrist at St. Anthony Foundation or to the Wound Care Clinic at SF General. The time she is able to spend with each person needing foot care in the beauty and calming atmosphere of the sanctuary is a wonderful complement, and needed addition, to the vital, but often overcrowded and businesslike atmosphere of foot care in medical clinics.
Gloria has been a nurse for 40 years. She was introduced to the Gubbio Project by a parishioner and spiritual care provider at Gubbio, Christine Morrison, when she was seeking a place to do direct service. She enjoys aikido and when asked what keeps her coming back, she responds, "The guests!" She is not alone in finding that being in relationship with, and in service to, our homeless neighbors is a great way to spend a couple of hours each week (see our volunteer stats below)! Thanks, Gloria, for your loving and healing touch!
CORRECTION: In our hardcopy newsetter sent out in May, we stated that we had a volunteer "Nurse Podiatrist" when the correct title for Gloria is "Certified Foot and Nail Care Nurse."