Sandra Sayre works in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) at a Roanoke hospital and drives and hour and a half to work each day to help her patients. While taking a course in community health, Sayre was “introduced” to the impoverished homeless through her clinical studies in community health class and she decided to become involved in helping the medical needs of the homeless. She became the voice of the homeless in Roanoke.
TRUST, a homeless shelter in Roanoke, Virginia, is where Sayre began her volunteer service. After working her 16-hour ICU nursing shift, she goes directly to TRUST to work another 8-hour shift each Sunday. During that time, she is the only person on staff. She manages to single handedly supervise 34 beds in two houses. While working at TRUST, she is also responsible for answering the crisis hotline also. She also volunteers for HELPS, a network of homeless providers in Roanoke that mobilize to better provide services and utilize volunteers. In addition to her work with TRUST and HELPS, Sayre serves on the Roanoke Valley Task Force on Homelessness. She conducts an extensive survey of the area homeless population, which is in excess of 400 people.
Sandy Sayre has had personal challenges but, instead of succumbing to them and giving up, she has chosen to do more and give more, not only for herself and her family, but for others who may not have anyone to do anything for them. She devotes many hours per week to serving the homeless. Her work ensures they are accounted for and they are able to obtain any benefits afforded to them. Directly, she works one-on-one at a shelter and hopes that her attitude, demeanor, and consistency affects the lives of the people she meets.
Her future goal is to open a health care center for the homeless population of Roanoke. She is now collaborating with the city’s Rescue Mission. They are now planning and strategizing, and will open the Rescue Mission Health Care Center in June 2002 where Sayre will be the Nurse Practitioner upon her completion of graduate studies at Radford University in May 2002.