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Homeless Survival Kits

One way to help out the homeless in our community is to put together Survival Kits. These kits are pretty basic, but when you have no place to live, simple things can make a big difference. Suddenly things we take for granted become IMPORTANT.

Staying Clean: Most of us have the OPTION of taking a shower EVERY day. People living on the street don't have that option. But being clean is IMPORTANT. When you are clean you feel better about yourself, and other people feel better about being near you. If you had to find a place to clean up every day, what would be important to you? Small bottles of shampoo, deodorant, and soap are easier to carry. A washcloth has lots of uses, and dries fast. A toothbrush with a cap over the brush keeps it clean. Disposable razors and face wipes can help clean up even without water. Ziploc baggies would be useful for storing things that leak or are wet or keeping tissues dry. What else would be IMPORTANT?

Eating Out: At home, we have what we need, and even camping out we bring along comfort items. If you had to Camp Out every night, what would become IMPORTANT? Without a sink, plastic forks, knives, and spoons would be necessary. A can opener that opens cans and bottles, a plastic bowl, packs of matches and a lighter. Foods that can be opened and eaten without cooking like tuna, crackers, canned fruit, beans, meat, would become IMPORTANT.

Sleeping Out: Staying warm is a good thing, and staying dry is even better. When we are caught out in the rain without cover, one of the first things we do when we get home is put on dry socks. When its cold, nothing helps you stay warm like a snuggly hat and gloves. A plastic rain poncho is great and cheap when you can't get to your raincoat, and for people without a raincoat, they can make a huge difference. When many of us go camping, we bring tents - just in case, or maybe because we like a roof over our head. Tents are an option for the homeless as well, but they are hard to carry. Sometimes a smaller plastic tarp is better because you can sleep on it or under it. A flashlight with extra batteries or some candles would be IMPORTANT for me. What would be IMPORTANT for you?

All these things are useful to people living without a home, but they are also hard to carry without something like a Backpack. When you decide to put together your Homeless Survival Kit, please use a backpack, then safety pin a list of everything you filled it with to the outside. By the way, safety pins, and a sewing kit are IMPORTANT.

Every day in Burke county someone who is homeless needs these things. If you would like to make Homeless Survival Kits, you can bring them to H.A.L.O, or email us and we will collect them. The kits are also used every January for the annual Point In Time homeless count.

Here are some other items you could include:

Throw in some packets of nuts, crackers, dried fruit, trail mix, granola bars, breakfast bars, instant noodles or other light-weight, quick snacks.

Towel / Washcloth
Showers aren't easy to come by for homeless men and women.  A towel and washcloth are helpful for washing as best they can in a restroom.

Lotion and lip balm are often welcome items. Anti-bacterial lotions can help when soap and water aren't available for washing hands.

Socks/ First Aid
Homeless men and women spend a lot of time on their feet. A fresh pair of clean, dry socks can feel like heaven on tired, soggy feet.  Throw in some band-aids to help ease the pain of blisters. A small first aid kit can really help out.