A story of the Care Bus

by NightShift

When you are struggling to survive a night on the streets or dealing with health or addiction problems and wondering where the next meal will come from, there’s typically little energy left to access services to take a bigger step towards recovery. We decided to bring some of those services to the streets. Literally and figuratively, we wrapped ourselves around a vehicle with care and showered it in love and hope: Care Bus side view Our Care Bus is a refurbished RV that was donated to NightShift back in 2010 as a means to bring free basic nursing, counselling and prayer ministry to anyone in need of these services. The Care Bus is operated by volunteers – professional counsellors, nurses and bus drivers – and is currently able to come out twice a week as part of the bigger outreach program. We would love to see the Care Bus come out every night of the week, but our precious resources and supplies are limited and we are grateful that we have been able to increase services to as much as we have today. You can therefore imagine our distress when we discovered a break-in late last week. Overnight we suddenly lost hundreds of dollars worth of equipment and supplies*.

“When I went on the Care Bus on Friday morning, I was devastated and so discouraged as the thief was not taking away from me or the other Care Bus volunteers, but taking away from those who desperately need the support.” ~ Leah, Counselling Services Manager

Friday night came – the night that we normally assess vital signs, provide wound care, distribute vitamins and meal replacement bars, educate patients about health and nutrition, refer them to hospital for further care as necessary, and so much more – and we found ourselves unable to help. For example, a young pregnant woman who regularly comes to have her blood pressure taken had to be turned away. We were unable to respond appropriately to the needs of a man who passed out in the parking lot. The theft really left us crippled. One of our volunteer nurses, Barb Orieux, reminded us of Luke 18:7-8:

“And will not God bring about justice for his chosen ones, who cry out to him day and night? Will he keep putting them off? I tell you, he will see that they get justice, and quickly.”

Then came the weekend and Global BC picked up the story, and what came next was amazing! The outpouring and words of encouragement started to roll in through social media, especially Facebook, and then the calls and emails and offers of support poured in from the community and beyond. A stethoscope here, a cash donation there, a bag stuffed with goodies from Emergency Dispatchers, a spare blood-pressure reader and a hearing tester, as well as dressing supplies and other medical equipment were being pledged to help us resume services as quickly as possible! IMG_9202 IMG_0230_1 So, to those who gave their time to pray and to the many who created awareness on our social media sites and to the generous donors willing to ship the necessary nursing supplies and donate necessary funding to our Care Bus, thank you! Your generosity in this difficult time brings justice, hope and care for the marginalized in our community. * Here’s what was stolen:

  • Boost & protein bars
  • Thermometers
  • Glucometers
  • Blood pressure cuffs (manual & automatic)
  • Pulse oximeter/heart rate monitors
  • Tackle box – to store supplies
  • Tupperware boxes
  • Medium & large disposable gloves
  • Stethoscopes
  • Cari-wipes/Virox
  • Isogel hand sanitizers
  • Sharps containers
  • Dressing supplies
  • Saline flushes, saline containers
  • Steril water
  • Pen lights
  • Scissors – heavy duty
  • Halls cough drops
  • AA batteries for thermometers

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