Monday, January 18, 2010


Kelly showed up in Lynch Park about two months ago.  She is from Long Island.  How she ended up in Gainesville I do not know. She has severe asthma, cysts on her knees that make every step she takes painful, and a host of other medical problems.  We've had the A Team trying to get appropriate services for her for awhile, but she keeps disappearing - either to the hospital or to the home of a 'friend' who takes her in for a few days when her disability check arrives.  Last Tuesday we found Kelly in Lynch Park wearing surgical scrubs with a feeding tube hanging from her stomach.  She had been discharged from Shands in this condition.  They gave her a liquid that requires refrigeration to put down her tube, along with several medications thatmust be ground up and stirred into this liquid.  She tried to get a medical bed at St. Francis House but was told that they were filled to capacity.There is a storefront mission near Lynch Park.  I went there, to see if they would let Kelly sleep inside their facility, while we worked something out.  I received an extremely cold reception and left them to their activity of singing about Jesus and passing a collection basket. When I went across the street, I found Peanut, Kelly's caregiver, slowly grinding up her pills with a rock, stirring them into the water we brought, and pouring them down her feeding tube.  Peanut is chronically homeless and, in all probablity, a crack addict.  I wondered who Jesus would recognize as his friend, Peanut or the folks at the mission?  Next morning, Sh'mal got Kelly into a nursing home.Patient dumping of homeless and very poor people is a national problem.  It has been going on in Gainesville for some time, but this is the most egregious example I have ever encountered.  We tried to get a story about this into the Gainesville Sun, but have not succeeded.  People can draw their own conclusions about that.service and I would like to be able to do that also.

Take care everyone,  love, arupa________________________________________________________________________________The Home Van needs bottled water, peanut butter and jelly, Vienna sausages, tents, bugspray, and sheets.  Call 372-4825 to arrange for drop-off.   Checks to the Home Van should be made out to the St. Vincent de Paul Society, earmarked for the Home Van, and mailed to 307 SE 6th Street, Gainesville,  32601.  All contributions are tax deductible.


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