Frontline COVID nurse helps homeless in her community

PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- In the few blocks RN Arianna Hensinger walks on her way to work, she passes St. John's Hospice, a men's homeless ministry in Center City.

It's a place she says she knows well.

"2020, in general, has been a tough year, and I just assumed that individuals who were already struggling, were hit even harder," said Hensinger, who had a difficult year in her own right.

She's a nurse in one of Jefferson Health's longest-standing COVID units, and still, she considers herself lucky.

"...I think that financially if we were able to help people who were struggling, we all pulled together and did what we could," she said.

Hensinger went to her nursing manager and said she wanted to do a donation drive for St. John's. She rallied her unit, her friends and family, and even her brother in the Air Force, who deployed in Germany, to help.

"Whatever you guys make, we'll match and send over to it," she said of her brother.

They collected 66 bags of toiletries and more than 650 pairs of socks.

"Going home, she looked around and said people need help, and so she took this on," said her manager at Jefferson, Denise Shapiro.

Liz Small, the director of development at St. John's, added, "That she even has the energy at the end of the day to think about people that are in a very hard situation is incredible."

While Hensinger is the one on the frontlines, she says she owes the community her gratitude.

"If people are able to help each other, I truly believe that they'll come through and help each other, and I think that's a perfect example on our unit," said Hensinger.
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