Our patients at Kingswood Hospital are often indigent and homeless. Believe it or not, several times a month we admit people without a pair of shoes. A single pair of shoes. While they are in the hospital, they are often comfortable wearing hospital issue socks with the treads on the bottom. In fact, this is sometimes all they can tolerate if they have been walking bare footed for a long time. Yes, sometimes they have been walking barefoot for days on end and show up at our doors with blisters, wounds and callouses.
If you can't imagine it, this is the time when you stop reading for a minute to tell God thank you.
When it is time for discharge, the plan is often a bus ticket to a shelter. Sometimes they don't actually go to the shelter because their homeless lifestyle is all that they are familiar with. Plus, shelters put you out every morning and you line back up in the evening hoping to get a bed...no guarantees. Think about that and then think about it without a pair of shoes. And think about it during the Michigan winter.
So when they are ready to leave the hospital, we need to give these guys a pair of shoes. Our staff donates a lot of shoes and clothing for our patients but there never seem to be enough shoes. High heels and dress shoes make up a good portion of the stock in our clothing closet. This is great for people who are trying to get a job interview and gain control of their lives. But not all that helpful if you are going to walk the streets of Detroit and sleep in a door way.
Do you have any shoes that are in decent shape that your family doesn't wear? If you could consider giving these shoes to our patients, you will make an incredible impact on a simple human need.
I have seen staff take the shoes off of their own feet and go home in stocking feet because there were no appropriate shoes in the right size for their patient.
I have seen staff go home to get their kid's shoes to bring back to a patient.
I have seen staff take up a collection to buy a pair of shoes because all of our ideas ran out.
I have seen a patient cry as he laced up a pair of used tennis shoes. I've also seen a man who had to wear women's shoes for discharge, it was all we could find.
I'll come get your shoes. You can mail them to me. You can drop them at the hospital. You can even send me a check to buy shoes if it suits your fancy. While you are going through your closet, cold weather clothing and jackets are appreciated too.