Nursing students complete community service project in Lexington
Students from the Kentucky State University nursing program completed a community service project providing meals and other essentials to persons at the Hope Center in Lexington, Kentucky.
The outreach was completed as part of courses instructed by Nursing Program Administrator Dr. Mary Ellen Broaddus.
Dr. Broaddus expressed the importance of creating awareness of social issues in our surrounding communities and the critical need to provide support.
“As the faculty for these courses, my goal is to assist students in recognizing the needs of the various populations of patients they will care for in their career and encourage them to have a heart for serving our fellow man,” Dr. Broaddus expressed. “I was so proud of them; they did a great job at the Hope Center!”
In addition to meals, students provided blankets, socks, clothes, nutritional snacks, and toiletry items and discussed health care with those present.
“When I think of the word “home” the two words that come to mind are safety and comfort,” said sophomore Jessica Roberts. “I can’t imagine what it must feel like to not be able to have a place to go to that allows you the ability to relax and unwind from all the stresses of the world each day,” adding, “I believe there is so much more that we as a society can do to help the homeless population; sometimes people just need a little “pick me up” to get them back on their feet.”
Junior Caitlyn Scalf admitted that the experience for her was unnerving at first.
“Young, old, or disabled, homelessness does not discriminate,” shared Scalf who recalled an experience with one particular gentleman at the center. “It was humbling to realize that at any moment my life could be turned upside down just as his life was. I wanted to make a difference that day and I think he appreciated that someone talked to him like a human being instead of garbage.”
The experience was made even more rewarding for Rachel Bunker who helped celebrate a birthday at the center.
“There was an individual that regularly visits the center who announced that he was celebrating his 67th birthday,” the junior offered. “I worked with my fellow classmates and arranged for the entire room to sing, “Happy Birthday.” It was gratifying to see the joy and appreciation on his face as well as the other men in the room.”
The Hope Center provides a wide array of services to persons who are homeless or are at risk of becoming homeless including food, shelter, clothing, recovery from addiction, mental health diagnosis and treatment, transitional housing, permanent housing, employment assistance, social services, support for veterans, mobile and street outreach, housing first, and more.