The combination of rain and holiday lights going up always prompts me to think about our homeless neighbors. With weather as wet as it has been lately, I don’t last more than 10 minutes outside before I am chilled to the bone. I can’t imagine sleeping outside in the cold and wet weather, or spending my days with the damp settling into every joint.
I’ve worked in human services, so I know I am not alone! Many charitable souls think about folks in need at this time of year. If you would like help keep people warm this winter, two of our local nonprofits, The 45th Street Clinic and Family Works Food Bank and Resource Center, would love to connect your generosity with people who could use a hand (or a mitten).
The 45th Street Clinic has an amazing-sounding program for homeless youth ages 12-23. While it breaks my heart to even write “homeless” and “youth” in the same sentence, the range of services that the 45th Street Clinic provides to these young people is astounding. On Wednesday and Thursday evenings, their drop-in clinic offers: medical care, acupuncture, mental health counseling, drug and alcohol counseling, HIV counseling, dental care yoga classes, naturopathy, meditation, massage, health education, social service referrals and outreach.
The 45th Street Clinic is in need of the following items to help their young clients this winter. They are able to accept new items only:
- Socks – men’s & women’s athletic
- Young women’s sweat pants, sweat shirts, & T-shirts (S, M, L, XL, XXL, Plus)
- Young men’s sweat pants, sweat shirts, & T-shirts (S, M, L, XL, XXL, Plus)
- Young women’s panties & bras (S, M, L, XL, XXL, Plus)
- Young men’s briefs & boxers (S, M, L, XL, XXL, Plus)
- Sleeping Bags
FamilyWorks, which supports individuals and families with healthy food and access to parenting and life-skills, is prioritizing warm clothing for children and adults. They can accept new or gently-used (but clean) items. Their greatest needs are:
- Socks (preferably wool)
- Ear muffs
- Men’s underwear
Both of these amazing service centers have a few ongoing needs as well:
- Hygiene items including toothbrushes/toothpaste, soap, shampoo, deodorant, tampons and razors
- Bus tickets (if you have a Chinook book, there are tickets inside that you can donate)
- Diapers (FamilyWorks especially needs sizes 4-6)
- Food (non-expired please, visit the 45th Street Clinic website and FamilyWorks website for useful items)
You may drop off items during each agency’s open hours, though if you have a large donation it is helpful if you can call first to make sure someone will be available to receive it. If you are inspired to host a warm items drive, please let your neighbors know about it by posting it here. I have faith that Wallingford’s Christmas/Hanukkah/Solstice/Festivus elves will come through for our neighbors in need!