Rainbow Coalition Comes Together for the Unhoused
Today was a good day for volunteering, even though it was SUPER hot! Street Medics Dallas participated in the Rainbow Coalition event at the Larry Johnson Rec Center, where about 10 different activist groups got together to network and distribute donations to the unhoused. Among the groups represented were Fight for Black Lives, NGAN, Dallas Houseless Committee, Dallas Harm Reduction, Food Not Bombs Dallas, SRA, Collin County Democrats, and the Brown Berets. People brought donations of food, water, clothing, and hygiene items. We made a lot of good contacts today, and strengthened existing relationships with other groups. Thanks to my co-conspirators Dequan and Ben for bringing this event to life. Long live the new Rainbow Coalition!
For our part, SMD set up our tent and we made sure the volunteers stayed hydrated and had snacks and sunscreen available. And when one of the groups found a pile of razor blades on the ground, we were on hand with our sharps container! After the event ended we divided the donations and dropped them off at several shelters and camps around Dallas.
While we were making a dropoff at the Austin Street Center (a homeless shelter near Camp Rhonda), we got a call from a new activist friend who goes by Chicago. He had been checking on a camp near Live Oak and 75, and was concerned about an unhoused gentleman from El Salvador who didn’t speak much English and had two oozing sores on his leg, possibly from diabetes. Chairman Meow and I went to meet them since we were finished and they weren’t that far away.
“Sergio” (not his real name) did have two sores on his leg. He confirmed he was diabetic, and chattered with us amiably while we looked at his leg. The good news was the tissue wasn’t necrotic and he had feeling throughout the leg and foot. Sergio showed me two previous sores that had healed, and believes his present sores will heal in time. He had gone to Parkland yesterday and they gave him a walking boot for his other leg, which if I understood correctly had been broken a while ago and wasn’t healing well. He had also received like 11 prescriptions (which might have been an exaggeration), which he didn’t want to fill because he prefers the natural homeopathic route. The necklace of garlic he wore was also kind of a giveaway. No judgement, he tries to eat healthy and walks for exercise daily even though it’s difficult for him right now. We left him with ointment, tape/gauze, and compression socks, and told him we’d check in on him periodically. Mostly, I think he was happy to have someone just listen to him. Just a typical Sunday for a Street Medic!