July 2015
Conversations 
~From the Director~

A guest who has been living on the streets for 20 years, and coming to Gubbio for 7, will get housing next week.  He is very excited.  The first thing he shares with me is his excitement around the bathroom. "This will be the first time in 20 years when I can just walk in and sit on the toilet without have to worry about sitting in something foul.  I can walk into the bathroom with my socks on without worrying that they will get wet because someone has peed on the floor." 

 

When he shares that he is going to have to get dishes and everything, I tell him where he can get some cheap.  "No," he says.  "I've only been given two years to live because of some medical issues, and I want to go out nice."

----

 

A woman sits on the sidewalk with her back against the church wall and her head down as a man paces in front of her shaking his head, sneering, and saying foul things to her.  She puts her hands over her ears so she doesn't have to listen to him berate her any more.  I tell them they have to move on as Gubbio was closing up and that he needs to stop talking to her like that.  He tells me that she is evil; that she is the devil.  "Ask her what she did in the bathroom.  Ask her. She is evil."  I did not ask.  The woman continued hanging her head.

 

Instead of saying that it wasn't important and that tomorrow was another day, I wish I had said: "Nothing you could do in the bathroom can make you evil.  Nothing strips you of being part of the human community.  Nothing puts out that spark of the Divine that we all have within us."  I wish I had said it to him, but for her; and for me.   

~ Laura Slattery, ED


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."
Volunteer Numbers 
               
As the fiscal year comes to an end, we now see on paper what we have always known; we would not have such a thriving Project without the help of all our volunteers.  Here are some amazing numbers to back it up:
Number of volunteer hours last year: 5630                 
Number of volunteer hours/week: 108
Number of volunteer hours/day: 21

Huge thanks to all our volunteers!

If you are interested in becoming a volunteer check out our website for more information!
In This Issue
Gubbio Staff 
T-shirts

Staff members, Tina and Jose, show off their new staff t-shirts! Our new lavender duds will make it easier for folks in search of staff to find us. We're hoping to create t-shirts to sell in the next few months as well! Who wants a Gubbio t-shirt?! 
SOCK Alert!!


We have been blessed to be able to provide socks for our guests every Monday and Thursday.  A simple pair of socks goes a long way; most importantly, it can help prevent disease and keep folks healthy.  More recently we have experienced a decline in sock donations and have not been able to distribute any.  Please consider making a sock donation here, mailing, or dropping some off.

If you have a couple of hours a month and would like to volunteer on a team to brainstorm and find new sources of Sock Donations let Laura know at lauras@thegubbioproject.org

Thank you in advance! 
 

"Because I am homeless doesn't mean I don't have manners, etiquette, morals and character. You never know a person before you begin a conversation with 'hello.' Open up the book and read it before you just decide the book is no good."  

 

Gubbio guestf in an interview with Prema, a KPFA intern.

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