“Tents, Tarps, and Toiletries” Drive to Benefit People Living Homeless

Saturday, May 21, and Sunday, May 22, 9 a.m.–1 p.m. in the lower atrium

A tent and piled belongings on the parking strip between the sidewalk and the street in front of a building

Church members and friends are invited to donate new or gently used tents and tarpaulins as well as new toiletries on May 21 and 22. Donations will be distributed to unhoused people by God’s L’il Acre Day Center, operated by Lake City Partners Ending Homelessness and related agencies serving unhoused people in the North End. Tables will be set up to receive your donations in the lower atrium by the first floor entrance to UUC.

Toiletries may include travel-sized or standard containers of shampoo, conditioner, combs, brushes, toothpaste, tooth brushes, dental floss, mouth wash, soap (bars or liquid), deodorant, sunscreen, hand lotion, women’s sanitary products, wet wipes, disposable razors, hand sanitizer, KN95 masks, etc. Gift cards for Fred Meyers, Big 5 Sporting Goods, Bartell Drug Store, and Target will also be gratefully accepted. The drive is sponsored by the UUC Economic Justice Team’s Lake City Partners Project.

Kathryn Whitehill, Director of God’s L’il Acre Day Center, reports that during Mayor Harrell’s administration, removal of homeless encampments is happening frequently. There are sometimes as many as 2 or 3 removals per week. If an encampment is declared to be an “obstruction” to the public, it can be removed with as little as 72 hours’ notice. A recent encampment in Lake City was posted on Friday, with removal set for Monday at 9 a.m.  By the time the first outreach workers arrived a little after 9 a.m. on Monday, the removal was already underway. There are few if any spots in any established shelters or tiny home villages, and rents are prohibitive. As a result, campers must find a new place to camp and move all of their belongings. Without cars, most people must make multiple trips, carrying things in their arms or using borrowed shopping carts. Sometimes their tents are removed before they have time to move them. Many people have been removed from their camps several times, suffering more trauma and losing more belongings each time.

Your donation of tents, tarps, and toiletries will help provide shelter and maintain health and safety for neighbors in our communities who have been suffering while awaiting spaces in the shelter system and assistance in moving towards permanent housing. Thank you in advance for your kindness. For more information about this drive or our Lake City Partners Project, please contact Judy Oerkvitz, Sallie Dacey, or Cynthia Salzman.

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