FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. (UATV)–“None of my family trusts me anymore,” said Janine Young.
“Janine Young took care of people for seven years. She was a personal support assistant for the handicapped in Oklahoma, but her life completely changed when her boyfriend introduced her to meth.
“He asked me if I ever tried it before, I said no, He said you want to, I said sure, he said it’s in a shot, I said okay I trust you,” she said.
After living with him for about a year, things got harder. She said he began to physically abuse her, so she decided to leave him and find help. She then received a call from a friend to move to Arkansas.
“I was picked up by my friend and brought over here to take care of me and I take care of her, she past away,” she said.
Young’s road to recovery has not been easy. She has been sober for three years now and the cravings are gone.
“It’s not something I want,” she said.
Young found shelter at the Salvation Army, but missed curfew one night and was forced to find another place to sleep that’s when she found 7 Hills Homeless Center. She received access to food, work and a clinic run by the nursing program at the University of Arkansas.
“There’s a lot of things they do, it helps out around here just seeing all the smiles,” she said.
The nursing students have a seven-week clinical rotation every Wednesday and Thursday where they check client’s blood pressure, help out with wounds and set up community clinic appointments if needed.
“And every other Thursday they have a foot clinic where they wash peoples feet and give them a pair of shoes, so that they have proper foot wear to get around.”
Registered Nurse, Janet Garnder, is a clinical instructor, who started the clinic in 2016. She selects eight students each semester to help out. Her goal is to expose students to diverse backgrounds and to teach them serve the homeless population.
“They learn how to talk to people, and they learn how to treat them just like they’re anybody and so they really learn how to get to know the patient,” said Janet Garnder.
Garnder fell in love with her work because of the stories she has heard, leading her to feel differently about the homeless.
“Usually the biggest difference between some who is homeless and someone who is not is a support system, you know, they don’t have people that help them, so they need that,” she said.
Which is something Garnder is working hard to do and will not stop anytime soon.
“They really see us as people,” Young said.
Story by UATV Reporter Wendy Echeveria