People may cross the street when they see a homeless person approaching them. It’s a natural reaction. No one wants to confront their own worst fears. There, but for the grace of God, go I.
One of the most forward-thinking nonprofits in town, Urban Housing Solutions, is making real headway into building new lives for these folks. They have more than 600 units of transitional housing, fashioned out of old motel rooms that are now small but fully functional apartments. When their new clients come in, they not only have a roof over their heads, but all kinds of “wrap around” services like drug and alcohol treatment, job counseling, nutrition lessons – everything to get them back on their feet.
We come into the picture when these folks first move in. They have nothing but the clothes on their back in most cases. CRC provides Urban Housing with Community Cares baskets full of basic household necessities like sheets, towels, kitchen ware, cleaning supplies and personal hygiene products.
Last week, the good folks at HCA came out to help us put together the baskets and deliver them to Urban Housing.
HCA is also a very forward-thinking company and allows its employees to spend a day in the community volunteering with a variety of nonprofits. The folks in the photo picked us as their project. They put together the baskets (actually reusable shopping bags, how forward-thinking of Betsy to pick those up!) and then after lunch took them to Urban Housing.
Sometimes we forget that the bar of soap we just picked up or the shampoo we’re about to use is precious to those who do without. We hear stories all the time about children who came to school in clean clothes for the first time in months after getting laundry detergent from C RC or kids replacing their worn and dirty socks with new ones from CRC. Or a formerly homeless person going on a job interview with clean hair and a well-shaven face because of toiletries from CRC. We deal in the small stuff, some might argue. But it’s the small stuff that counts.