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Homeless advocate Richard Bahr of Maple Grove, Minn., wants to shine a light on how important it is to help the homeless in this time of national crisis.
In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, he organized a small group of people he usually works with on packing sandwiches for the homeless to meet in the driveway of his home in Maple Grove, Minn., the evening of April 6 to help him pack 100 personal care kits which were distributed to the Twin City homeless community. The care kits included shampoo, conditioner, a washcloth, soap, tissue, deodorant, a toothbrush and toothpaste, a razor, socks, and a comb.
During the packing event, his group showed off how following social distancing and other recent safety guidelines, a few people or small groups of people can assemble, in a safe way, and still continue to care for our neighbors. Four media outlets covered the event: KARE TV, FOX 9 TV, CCX Media and the Press & News.
Looking for ways you too can help the homeless. Here are Bahr's suggestions:
* Give financially to local shelters or other organizations that support our local homeless community
* Call and ask if you can volunteer. Most don’t allow on site volunteers any longer, but several will take meal and food donations if you drop them off.
* Contact you legislator and urge for the support of legislation that will provide a COVID-19 relief package for the homeless and those in need of rental relief. You could urge them to open up more, large public spaces, such as sporting arenas, to reduce the density of those seeking shelter.
It’s not “if” but “when” COVID-19 strikes our homeless community, the impact could be devastating. And because the homeless, by the nature of their situation, are on the move a lot, we could unknowingly spread the virus among others, delaying a recovery for the general population.
Learn more about Richard's work to help the homeless at www.threshold2newlife.org.