Kirsten Bourque is a registered nurse, a master's degree student, and mother of two preschoolers. Despite being busy, for the last two years, she's found time to volunteer her time and skills to attend to the feet of street-involved, homeless and insecurely housed individuals in Winnipeg's Inner City.
Kirsten provides basic foot care to a vulnerable group of folks who often have barriers to attaining health care services. Residents of Winnipeg's poorest communities have higher rates of diabetes and are at high risk of amputations due to diabetic foot complications. Kirsten also takes the opportunity to teach these residents about caring for their diabetic feet with a focus on harm reduction. She received special training in foot care as a nurse and faithfully volunteers to provide these Street Feet services at Sunshine House.
Street Feet at Sunshine House
Sunshine House is a drop-in resource center for homeless, street-involved and other underserved people in Winnipeg, Manitoba. Winnipeg counts 1700+ homeless, 76 per cent of whom are Indigenous. Sunshine House's Street Feet initiative grew out of a study that identified the top health-related issues for the homeless. Few social services programs address the need for foot care, a health service that is not covered for Manitobans. The goal of Street Feet is to provide needed foot care services in a non-judgmental manner.